The Almost Prime Merdian

Greenwich Travel Blog

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Streets from the double decker bus

After breakfast, got the bus to transferred to a bus that went to the Tower station (rode on the top all the way there) which was the one that I determined after considerable map study was the one to go to for the Docklands Light Rail. The streets were relatively quiet this early on Sunday morning.

After we got off the bus, we wended our way up and down and across to the Docklands Light Rail station to go out to Greenwich. None of the trains seemed to be going to that destination. But a non-USA English speaking guy (can't remember now if he was from England or Australia) told us that we'd have to get a train to another station and transfer. He was with a big group. So we did that.

The ride was very interesting. It went across the Isle of Dogs.

The stop we wanted was the Cutty Sark stop, and it was listed as being zone 2/3, so I was a little worried that we might be in trouble as our weekend passes were only good for zone 1 and 2.

End of the tunnel and the bow of the Cutty Sark
But later I found information which indicated that either zone 2 OR zone 3 tickets were acceptable. I certainly didn't want to walk through the mile long tunnel under the river. I both didn't want to expend my limited energy in walking that far, and know that there's nothing to see in a tunnel.

When we arrived, We walked around the outside of the Cutty Sark, but Bob didn't think it was worth the admission fee of £3.50 to go on board. We walked around the Gypsy Moth which Sir Francis C. did a solo circumnavigation in (and wrote a book about it) and Bob noted that the windlass was in an unusual place. You can't go on board

Then we went to the information building, and they told us we could take a shuttle bus (£1.50 each RT) up to the top of the hill to the observatory, so we did that.

Gypsy Moth
It is walkable, but for someone in better shape than I am.

We walked from the parking lot to the observatory. We walked along the prime meridian and looked at the exhibits there.  They had the standards for one foot, an English yard etc. below a 24 hour clock.

We also looked at the garden shed where the Astronomer Royal did most of his observations because the observatory building wasn't in quite the right place.  It is a very small site and was a bit crowded. Only the ground floor of the observatory is wheelchair accessible. There are a lot of steps

You can also see up and down the river, including the Millennium Dome. I saw a foreign sailboat sailing slowly up the river. Then we bused back to the National Maritime Museum. (the bus driver let us off on the observatory side so we would have less of a walk), and there we had lunch.
Prime Meridian line
I had 1/2 roast chicken, squash to drink and a peach thing for dessert. Bob had a sandwich, Sprite/lemonade, and rice pudding for £12.95 total. Squash was something I remember from previous trips, which I like, but this was the first time I'd seen it available. It's kind of a fruit drink.

Then we walked around looking at the exhibits. There were a lot of interactive ones - game type things where you shoot missiles, quiz type ones, and even stuff like a pretend corridor in a ship where they have a persons name and job on the doors (cabin steward, purser, captain) and you open the door and see the uniform that person would wear and hear a recorded message about them and their job. They had model ships, and paintings, dioramas, including two family groups of emigrants with their luggage - one steerage and one-first class.

Town gates on observatory side
There were also decorated royal barges, and the uniform Nelson wore when he was killed with bullet holes and blood. There's also a library where you can use interactive computers to look up specific exhibits or items of interest. We looked at a lot of the Explorers and the Seapower exhibits.

There are also a lot of paintings, and photography is forbidden in the museum.  The maritime museum, the observatory and the Queens House used to have an admission charge, but they are now free. We didn't get to the Queens House.

At about 2, we left because I wanted to take a boat down to the Thames Barrier (which is to keep the Thames from flooding - it did it last in the early 50's and killed a whole bunch of people). But none of the boat ticket people would admit that it could be reached by boat (even though my Lonely Planet London Guidebook SAID it could), and I didn't want to try the bus, so I gave up and bought a boat ticket back to Westminster pier.

Observatory side of the museum

The first place I tried wouldn't accept a credit card for under £10.00 and the tickets would only have been about £8, so I went to City Cruises, where they accepted the credit card, but put a surcharge on it. We got a reduced rate because we were old people with a weekend travelcard, so the total bill was £7.80 ($12.40). The ticket says that a guidebook is available for £2 onboard. I didn't buy it.

Bob didn't want to sit outside as it was cold and windy and looked like rain, and he hadn't brought his coat. He had it Saturday and didn't need it. So we sat inside and had a nice ride back to the city. Again I noted the large tides in the Thames. We saw Zodiac type boats hanging from davits what looked like about 12 feet above the river.

Inside the museum looking down from the 1st floor (before I knew that we weren't to take photos)
It was difficult to take pictures through the window because of the reflection. We went by Limehouse Bridge again and I started seeing more familiar river scenes including Tower Bridge and Waterloo Station, ending up at the Tower of London.

We took the tube back to the hotel stop (the tube was VERY crowded even though it was Sunday), and looked for a restaurant (Mondari ?) had been recommended on Goodge St. We found it, but it was closed, either because it was Sunday or because it was too early in the evening. We ate at a pub called Finnegan's Wake. Bob had fish and chips and chocolate fudge cake and tea, and I had a half roast chicken, fruit crumble with custard and tea for £12.60 ($20.04). The food was quite good, although I was suspicious of the name and the place was nearly empty.

Inflatable on davits


Then we walked back to the hotel and set about packing so we could leave the next day for Salisbury

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Streets from the double decker bus
Streets from the double decker bus
End of the tunnel and the bow of t…
End of the tunnel and the bow of …
Gypsy Moth
Gypsy Moth
Prime Meridian line
Prime Meridian line
Town gates on observatory side
Town gates on observatory side
Observatory side of the museum
Observatory side of the museum
Inside the museum looking down fro…
Inside the museum looking down fr…
Inflatable on davits
Inflatable on davits
Tower of London
Tower of London
Tower bridge from the boat
Tower bridge from the boat
Waterloo station from the river
Waterloo station from the river
24 hour clock with length standards
24 hour clock with length standards
Bob walking away from the Prime Me…
Bob walking away from the Prime M…
Domed ceiling in the observatory
Domed ceiling in the observatory
Masts of the Cutty Sark
Masts of the Cutty Sark
Gypsy Moth
Gypsy Moth
Thames from the observatory
Thames from the observatory
Street in front of the museum
Street in front of the museum
Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
Bob looking at the Gypsy Moth info…
Bob looking at the Gypsy Moth inf…
Standing on the Prime Meridian
Standing on the Prime Meridian
Stern of the Cutty Sark
Stern of the Cutty Sark
River at Greenwich
River at Greenwich
Bob at the bow of the Cutty Sark
Bob at the bow of the Cutty Sark
Front of the Maritime Museum
Front of the Maritime Museum
Limehouse bridge
Limehouse bridge
Observatory from the museum
Observatory from the museum
Greenwich
photo by: santafeclau