Monday, January 13, 2014


Friday we went into town again, this time on the train. I was happy to take the train because it meant I would get more walking in than we would with the car, though I did have to remind myself to proceed at a pace more convenient to my companion. Don't want to burn him out on walking around!
We went down to the station with Jean-Philippe's son Philippe, who was headed in for a day of work so we left quite early and had the benefit of his knowledge that if you change two stations down the line you'll get there much faster because the new train is direct to London Bridge instead of making every little stop on the way. A lot of people seemed to know this, and indeed, when we got to Greenwich after two more changes the world was still just barely waking up. Rather like in France, anybody who could had taken the rest of the week off, and the rest were not too happy about having to get up in the morning.
With nothing but the coffee shops open yet, we stopped breakfast at Starbucks before walking around this nice little town. Most of the place seems to be taken up with museums & historical sites, and the bit of town left, at least in the center, is mostly tourist shops and restaurants. The Cutty Sark is here, up on blocks with its museum underneath.
As you can see, the weather was quite threatening. I had my anti-rain device with me, and I choose to believe it saved us from worse. There were no ships of interest dockside, and the view along the Thames was quite dull. The poor light didn't help, but the riverfront is not much of an attraction.
At the University of Greenwich, we wondered what this apparently recently delivered statue could be. Or recently renovated, given the plinth is not exactly new. Turns out it's King George II, wrapped up for the winter as usual. We decided not to wait for the unveiling.
They have some spectacular facilities there at the U of G. Like this chapel (sorry for the uncorrected color balance - the ceiling is a gorgeous blue and white in person)
Across the quad, the dining hall is a mirror of this room, with its own set of fantastic paintings. Set to seat hundreds, I wonder if the food is as sumptuous. Or if the decor serves to distract. Or if the quality of life is some kind of average of all the things in it, and so if you're really pampered here, it's got to sting there...
Onwards. At the Maritime Museum across the street, we again don't go in. It seems all the signage is in English, and JP isn't interested enough to have me translate everything. Though surely they have audioguides. No, really, it's not worth the entry. (We kind of go back and forth on this, because I'm not that interested either, but we did come all this way, and I thought because he was interested...) So we just look at the stuff outside. There are some Works of Art. I declined to photograph them. At the far end of the very large lawn, there's a collection of cannons and anchors, all in standard black, and an intriguingly colored item.
A drill head, ah.
Major drill!
Can't go to Greenwich without seeing the Royal Observatory and the Meridian Line.
No, really, you can't. It isn't even 10:30 am yet, and we cannot possibly pretend to wander about the village until lunchtime without going into some museum, and my companion nixes walking up and down the hills of the park just for the fun of it. The park is quite grand, and would be much improved by a bit of sun, but in spite of my (admittedly puny) anti-rain device we prefer to stay closer to shelter. Besides, I really must see what sort of marker they've come up with for the meridian.

Oh, look, a picture of a tree I saw on vacation!
Yes, but it is a special tree. I didn't see any particular plaque associated with the tree (though, honestly, I didn't think to look until just now - if there was one, it didn't capture my attention at the time), but it gets to be photographed endlessly as the Tree at Greenwich Observatory. And it's a pretty nice one.
Some kind asian tourists agreed to take our photo with the meridian thingy.
JP thought they must be finished already & so started to walk away. Then it started to rain again, so I just recovered the camera and that was it. By the time I finished with the Observatory, it was a decent hour for lunch, and we descended the hill in the drizzle looking for a nice curry but that place was closed so we settled for a nice pub serving fish&chips and burgers with onion rings. That was right next door to a charity shop selling books, where I picked up book #19.

1 comment:

The Bug said...

Ha! I love that picture of the two of you :)

I've been too busy to read blogs - & I'm sure I will be again... But for this brief shining moment I'm catching up with yours :)