08.09.2011 - 08.09.2011 19 °C
I spent the day today with another aussie from the hostel, Nancy. We started our day by catching the ferry up to Greenwich to see the meridian line, the observatory and the naval museum. The banks of the Thames really remind me of the banks of the Brissie river near Teneriffe. This is because the part of the Thames we were boating on were where the old wool sheds and ship yards are housed, similar to the area around Teneriffe. Both areas have transformed these old buildings into beautiful new apartments so the similarities were really quite striking.
Greenwich itself is surprisingly beautiful. I had no real expectations of what Greenwich would be like. I was really only going to see the Meridian Line and take a snap of me standing on either side! The town itself though is worth going to even if the Meridian Line wasn’t there! The town has a real ‘little village’ atmosphere, even though it is only 30min from downtown London. We started our day by just wandering around the town and during our wander came across this lovely indoor market place that has been in use for a couple of hundred years. The market itself was mainly all bric-a-brac but not the usual ‘garage sale’ stuff we would have at home, but really good antiquey/ quirky things! One seller was actually selling a bugle.. I was sorely tempted to buy the bugle (but really, what am I going to do with a bugle???) Another seller was selling old coins; crowns, thruppence etc.. I didn’t realise how big a crown was.. it would weigh down your pocket if you were unlucky enough to have a few of them!
After wandering amongst all of these old antiquey things we decided we had better head up the hill to see the observatory and more importantly the meridian line. We decided not to spend the 10 pound they were asking to go inside the observatory so we just wandered around the hill top and checked out the view as well as the line.. (note to self, you don’t need to pay to see the line—it can be found in the public areas if you know where to look!) During our amble around the observatory we saw squirrels! I’d forgotten how cute the little critters could be. One very daring little dude was even cheeky enough to come right up near us!
We rounded out our Greenwich trip by going and having a look inside the Maritime museum. There is an exhibition inside that is all about the Battle of Trafalgar when Nelson was killed. They still have the clothing he was wearing when he was shot on display so you can see the actual bullet hole that killed Nelson. There is also the stern of a ship on display that was used during that fateful battle as well as a barge that was used by one of the kings of England to travel up and down the Thames that is covered in 24 carat gold leaf… It’s good to be king! Nancy rounded out her trip to the Maritime museum by having a go on the museum’s bridge simulator—she was the bridge captain of a vessel that had to make port on the Eastern side of the Opera house (which in the game is actually the western side of the opera house!!!!) We walked away feeling slightly sea sick (from the simulator) but very pleased with our day spent at Greenwich.
We both rounded out the day by going back into town to see another show; The Wizard of Oz! We turned up to the Palladium (the theatre where it is showing) about an hour and a half before the show was due to start and bought some last minute tickets. We paid 32 pounds and we were placed in the 7th row back from the stage right in the middle! Prime seats at a rock bottom rate!!! (Note to self, if you want to see a West End show—just rock up an hour before and try and get lucky… if that show isn’t available you can bet that one of them will be!) Richard Crawford is the headline act for the show and he played the Wizard. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting too much and was thoroughly wowed.. The show had everything! Really awesome sets, a real Toto!! (yep they had trained a couple of white terriers to play the role.. and gee did the dogs pull it off!) pyrotechnics, stuff coming out of the roof, people coming out of the roof… you name it this show had it! It is probably one of the best shows I’ve seen and probably also one of the cheapest!!!!! We both spent up big at the gift shop and then headed home.. Absolutely fantastic ending to a super great day!