The Riverine Festival Totally Thames has announced its 2019 program to celebrate London's central waterway.
The entire program is a veritable stream of events, from guided hikes and tours to photography exhibitions and the opportunity to plunge into the waters of the Thames. Here are our top picks from the program 2019:
The barking stench
Have you ever noticed a particular pong near Barking Creek? You are not alone when it comes to getting a touch and a free exhibition. The Barking Stink highlights the history of the region through its smells. Learn about the heritage of the region, from fishing to wastewater treatment plants to carbonated pop and soap factories. The two sites are spread over the South Bank and the Valence House Museum.
Animal secrets with ZSL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) - the London zoo's charity - provides a virtual reality that shows visitors what is beneath the surface of the Thames. The London Wildlife Secret offers the opportunity to swim in the river (no swimsuit required) and watch porpoises, seals, seahorses, eels and other aquatic creatures.
Flap chamber concerts on the Tower Bridge
An integral part of the Totally Thames program - and one sold out every year - is the concerts in the Tower Bridge's folding chambers (these are the huge underground chambers into which the counterweights sink when the bridge is opened). The vast Victorian rooms provide amazing acoustics for a variety of live music performances, all presented by historian Dan Cruickshank, who lectures on architecture.
The ship of tolerance
Expect to see much of this artwork on Instagram. The Ship of Tolerance (picture above) appears in different places. The focus is on a sail made up of works by 1000 schoolchildren celebrating unity and diversity in London. It was created by the artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, who are known for their large-format installations and their stunning works.
Night kayak through London
Secret Adventures offers special editions of its night kayak tours, where you can see the landmarks of London at dusk from the river. The route leads from Battersea to Greenwich, past the Houses of Parliament, St Pauls, City Tower Bridge and Old Naval College, all dipped in golden hour light. It is suitable for beginners kayakers (adults only).
Thames is swimming
And if kayaking across the water is not enough for you, how about swimming in the Thames? The tides swimmers of the Thames are aimed at experienced open water swimmers, which cover about 1.2 km - but supported by the flood. It is not a race but a convivial bath followed by a pub crawl.
Thank you for having us
Aerial acrobatics, stunts, pyrotechnics and live music come to the city streets to celebrate Thank You For Having Us, a joint performance by the theater company Générik Vapeur and the trapeze artist Gorilla Circus. Take a night stroll through an artificial island filled with plastic - today a man-made eighth continent - shaped by the currents of the North Pacific.
The Great River Race 2019
If you're at sea, you'll want to lure a series of gigs, boats, cutters, marine whalers, Chinese dragon boats, Hawaiian war canoes, shallots, skerries, and whales to the water's edge for a peek. Landlubbers who are unfamiliar with these terms simply need to know: Over 330 boats take part in the Great River Race, a 34-kilometer river marathon from Docklands to Ham. Grab a seat by the river and watch the bizarre sight.
Rescue boat station open days
You may have seen RNLI lifeboats doing maneuvers on the Thames - they are stationed at four lifeboat stations along the river and are offering the best possible help to those who have problems in the water. The most central of these is the Tower Lifeboat Station, located adjacent to the Waterloo Bridge, which covers the bustling river route in central London. During the Totally Thames, it will open its doors to the public for four days, offering guided tours and the opportunity to meet the crew.
These are just a drop in the bucket ocean We recommend that you search the entire program and receive a booking.
Totally Thames 2019 will take place from 1 to 30 September 2019. Event prices vary - some are free - and some require a booking.
When rivers are floating on your boat, check out the Museum of London Docklands current Secret Rivers exhibit.
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