Sunday, 19 September 2010

London Impressions no. 4

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day (since Thursday) I'll post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. All in all I will have six posts on my travels. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago...

I woke up on a sunny Sunday and it was finally time visit Greenwich. After breakfast we left for Embankment where Thames Clipper's River Boat Service has one of it's stations. We paid £ 7.10 each to go to and back Greenwich. This is a price which we achieved due to our travel-cards from Transport for London. It is really useful for tourists as we got a seven day travel card for zones 1 and 2, which cover central London (our hotel was located inside those zones) for £ 25.80. When in possession of a travel card one gets 30% off for all Thames Clipper services. Boats to Greenwich leave I think every half hour and the ride takes you about forty minutes. I enjoyed it very much as one can see very many famous sights from the water like London Eye.

London Eye

Spend a morning of maritime history!

When we arrived in Greenwich one of the first sights to see is the tea clipper Cutty Sark but unfortunately there was no chance to see it for us as it is currently reconstructed due to a fire. Next stop is the Old Royal Naval College, designed by Christopher Wren who nearly built all famous and old London building. ;) A must see is the Painted Hall, one of the prettiest dining halls in the world.

After that we headed for the National Maritime Museum, where you can see Nelson's uniform. This he wore at the battle of Trafalgar, when a fatal musket ball hit his left shoulder, where the uniform still shows the hole. We got a good impression on maritime history and shipping and left hungry. The museum includes a nice café where we grabbed some delicious coffee and pain au chocolat, which we ate together with our lunch in the park behind the museum in front of the hill where the Royal Observatory is located. A beautiful landscape where many families spent they day having a pick-nick and other outdoor activities.

View from the hill in Greenwich Park, behind me the Royal Observatory and in front the National Maritime museum and the park where we had lunch.

We spent our afternoon exploring time and space in the Royal Observatory, where the biggest highlight is for sure the prime meridian. There you can stand with one foot each in the east and west hemispheres! Really impressive I also found the astronomy route. It offered many hands on science spots to learn about space, e.g gravity, black holes and supernovas.

We left the Observatory for the town of Greenwich itself, which is small and pleasant. We discovered Greenwich market before it closed (every day at 5.30 pm). How fantastic: loads of stalls and artisan people selling their handmade stuff. We saw paintings, paper crafts, hats, t-shirts and so on. I couldn't resist and bought a quilted bag, which is just lovely.

My new bag!

We traveled home by boat and river again, where I recognized the impact of the tides on Thames river for the first time. Amazing! In the morning there has been nearly no water compared to the situation in the afternoon.

In the evening I had some great plans. I wanted to see the grand finale of the Mayor's Thames Festival, one of I think two fireworks which are displayed on the Thames each year. We had some nice Lebanese food on Queensway and headed for Embankment again to stand on the bridge and have good view. The firework started about 9.45 pm and lasted at least 15 minutes. What a great show. Even Londoners next to me were thrilled and let out Ooohhss!, Ahhs! and Wows!

When I think about it today it was probably the best day I had in London!


  1. Another great day in London! I love maritime museums, I've visited a few in different countries. I haven't been to this one, though!

    Your new bag is lovely! What a find!

  2. Lovely bag indeed! Great for carrying bento lunches :)

    And OBVIOUSLY I'm absolutely jealous of you going to London... Sounds like you had a marvellous time!