Monday, June 13, 2011

London Bridge is Falling Down...

London Bridge, snack bar, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, New Braunfels photographerFalling down, falling down, etc etc. You know the old song, right? What it doesn't include, however, is the final verse's modern update that the bridge was actually purchased, dismantled, and taken to Lake Havasu, Arizona, by a millionaire who wanted to build a little town in the desert. This famous bridge was just what it took to bring people into the little oasis and stay for a while.

Lake Havasu City was another stop on our honeymoon 15 years ago so we had to make the trip again. Once again, we find that a lot has changed in the past 15 years. What was once a thriving little lakeside British-esque shopping district is now mostly deserted with a few shops pushing their cheap souvenir British merchandise and tourist junk.

The bridge itself is nothing overwhelmingly spectacular. It's just under 200 years old. There are no towers or cool stoneworkings. It's just a bridge. The fact that it was disassembled in London in the 60s and moved brick by brick to Arizona for reassembly is what makes it so cool, I think. But it certainly is a sight to see in the middle of the desert!

What's so sad about this tourist attraction is the run-down condition of the English Village. It was thriving 15 years ago and from what I'm reading online, it's downfall has everything to do with a squabble among millionaires and town officials. The owner got snippy and shut everything down with a "fine have it your way, I'm taking my ball and going home." Now stepping into the remnants of this village is like stepping back into a deserted 1986 theme park complete with "Karma Chameleon" playing on the loudspeakers. We had lunch at an overpriced pizza parlor that had original Atari video games rigged to require two quarters instead of one (I guess some things have to change with the times).

I got the feeling this town has become more of a spring break party town than a real tourist attraction. Many of the people are coming for boozing and boating and nothing more. I suspect that if whatever squabble led to the downfall of the English Village is resolved and some money is invested into the area, the bridge can once again be a thriving tourist spot for families.

Next stop on our itinerary is the beautiful land of Sedona, Arizona.

London Bridge, British telephone booth, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, New Braunfels photographer

London Bridge, marina, false-color infrared, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, New Braunfels photographer

Lisa On Location Photography

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