Friday, April 15, 2005

Woolwich Ferry

I lived in Woolwich for four years while I was studying at Thames Polytechnic. but I never actually made it onto the Ferry.

I'm not sure why. We used to drink in a pub just up the road from it, and I even used the foot tunnel to get to North Woolwich once, but somehow, never ventured onto the ferry.

That's all changed now, as I had a little while ago I had to get to Thamesmead to buy a discontinued item from the Argos there, and then get into work.

It's not a profound experience really, but I enjoyed the 15 minutes standing looking at over the side of the ferry, watching the ferry on the other side of the Thames do exactly the same, smelling the estuary smells, watching a barge or two go by, listening to the seagulls, and then finally the view of Woolwich from across the river.

There's always a huge queue of vehicles - both sides of the river - waiting for the ferries: there's usually two in service. I've spotted lorries from round Europe - camper vans - cars jammed with luggage and kids, god knows what these visitors think of the arrangement here - probably wondering why the authorities never built a bridge here.

Once the ferry sets off there's usually only a one or two drivers who get out of their vehicles and take in the full Woolwich Ferry experience. Not only are there the usual river sights, but there's the Dome, Canary Wharf, Thames Barrier, Tate and Lyle sugar plant and 9 times out of 10 a large freighter unloading into it. I tend to do a bit of bird spotting on the way - usually seeing common terns, gulls and cormorants.

Another link

The cycle ride up to Stratford takes about 45 minutes, making the route viable for me to use as a regular route to work, and I'm sure I've mentioned how much I hate the Greenwich foot tunnel with its unreliable lifts, herds of tourists and grumpy operators.

street furniture

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