Greenwich


Two drifters off to see the world.
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s end–

Eat, Play, Love: our five days in London

We had a nice trip in England and Scotland in mid-May and we are happy to share with you the beautiful pictures of the various places. We spent 5 days in London and as many people have told us, the weather was going to be miserable. However, given such a short time of 5 days, we did enjoy our time there, and along the way we’ve tasted wonderful food, visited historical monuments and scenic spots, relaxed ourselves with a carefree stroll in the parks populated by waterfowls and dense trees, and even our small budget hotel near Liverpool Street lived up to our expectations.

One of the first stops we visited in London upon arrival is none other than Greenwich. To get to Greenwich, most people would travel by cruise from central London (the trip takes an hour), and you have many choices of which boat you would like to take – a hop-on-hop-off boat or more conventional and spacious ones with audio commentary.

The uniqueness of travelling on a cruise is that you can appreciate the countless well-known landmarks along the River Thames, from the modern London Eye on the South Bank to the ancient Cleopatra’s Needle on Victoria’s Embankment. We went underneath the famous bridges e.g. London Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge and Tower Bridge too. At Greenwich pier we were soon greeted by an old clipper ship known as the Cutty Sark, which was built in 1869 and repaired for exhibition in the modern day. Now with an admission fee not only can you go on board the ship, but also underneath it (although, honestly I don’t quite see the point of going under a ship…).

 
 

I admit that I was ignorant enough to think of Greenwich as in Greenwich Mean Time – and that he whole point of the excursion was to see the Prime Meridian. How wrong! The Greenwich town was so big and the Royal Observatory, our place of interest, sat on top of a hill overlooking the town. There were several iconic buildings you must pass through in order to reach the Observatory from the Pier, one of them is the National Maritime Museum.

There were lots of interesting exhibitions in the Museum. I find the video documentary of the construction and disaster of the Titanic particularly memorable. If only I had more time, the Museum and the town around it is worthwhile to spend a whole day exploring.

 
 

The gloomy weather did not spoil our mood. Instead, the clouds provided an interesting backdrop for the grand buildings. After walking for half an hour, we finally reach the top of the hill and our destination – the Royal Observatory. 1884 was the year when a conference was held to decide that the Prime Meridian passes through the Royal Observatory. Time as we now know it is such a new thing, when I come to think about it!

 
 

Pictures below: The footsteps of black bear and white bear pointing towards the longitude of Hong Kong, with the prime meridian as the thick line on the far left. A staff member dressed in white explaining to visitors the history of Prime Meridian. An exhibit in the Museum. Inside the Royal Observatory. Another look at the Prime Meridian.


 
 

It was getting late. On our way back we explored some more around the town area and we passed by the clock tower. As a challenge to ourselves, we took the train home towards London Bridge instead of the ferry. What a wonderful time to see the history of time in Greenwich!

 

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