Greenwich

Greenwich Travel Blog

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River Thames at Greenwich

 

On Sunday morning, we went to Greenwich. I had a late lunchtime train to catch, so we were very short of time, so once we got off the train, and after a brief walk along the river, I dragged Iain straight up to the Royal Observatory.  This is because he is a real traveller, turning up in all sorts of places.  He just doesn’t like blogging.  We went along the river past the ruins of the Cutty Sark.  The Cutty Sark was one of the last remaining Tea Clippers, beautiful ships which raced each other across the world to deliver tea and other high value goods to far off lands, with three masts of tall sails.  Someone burned the Cutty Sark down a couple of years ago, and they are working to restore her, but I still feel a huge pang that what they rebuild will be a clever fake – the real ship has gone.

Former alms hospital in front of the power station
  And whatever thug did it killed an important part of our heritage, because ships have personalities of their own. 

 

The Royal Observatory is at the top of a hill, above the National Maritime Museum.  This is the fourth time that I have not been to the National Maritime Museum, and at some point I will have to prioritise it better, but late lunchtime trains are expensive things to miss.  And we really did want to go to the Royal Observatory, and step between the two hemispheres for a while.  The fact that you can do this the whole way up the meridian, which must pass through East Anglia, Kent and half of Eastern Scotland, doesn’t matter – at Greenwich, there is a metal bar in the floor to tell you that you’ve done it.  There is also a gorgeous garden full of trees and flowers (Iain tells me I am wet for noticing this sort of thing.

Dredging bit
  I have frequently told him I don’t care!) and a really quite interesting, free museum. 

 

I’ve reviewed the museum below.  Admission is free, and there is a great display about time, and how measuring it allowed better trading.  There is also a Christopher Wren interior (he was better known for building St Paul’s Cathedral, and several of the prettiest churches in London); apparently that’s quite rare.  There are displays about the first Astronomer Royal and his wife, and several cool sundials.  There is one shaped like a dolphin, for example, and some cool spheres.  We didn’t quite have time to explore the astronomy section properly, but as entrance was free that was fine.

 

After that, we bought some sausage buns and sat on the ground bickering cheerfully and looking at the view.

The observatory from the Maritime Museum
  The view from Greenwich is lovely, passing down through the Naval College to the river, the Docklands development and Canary Wharf, and beyond to the cranes of the Olympic Building.  It was a really nice day to sit and have a picnic.  Then we headed down the hill into Greenwich and had a brief look at the market there.  Greenwich market is a really cool arts and crafts market full of lovely jewellery and interesting food, and it’s a shame I didn’t go there the week after pay day rather than the week before! 

 

We crossed the Thames through the Thames foot tunnel to the Isle of Dogs.  This tunnel is very old; the lifts date from about 1904.  It is a strange experience to walk under the Thames in a round tunnel like a rabbit burrow, and as it’s free, I think you should all do it.  We got back to the hotel just in time to gather my stuff and head off to Paddington to get my train to Cardiff.

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River Thames at Greenwich
River Thames at Greenwich
Former alms hospital in front of t…
Former alms hospital in front of …
Dredging bit
Dredging bit
The observatory from the Maritime …
The observatory from the Maritime…
View from the maritime museum
View from the maritime museum
View from the observatoryr
View from the observatoryr
24 hour clock
24 hour clock
spring trees
spring trees
cool sundial
cool sundial
observatory
observatory
Visitors centre
Visitor's centre
Meridian
Meridian
Tunnel under the Thames
Tunnel under the Thames
Greenwich
photo by: santafeclau