Monday, July 28, 2014

Day Two Features Greenwich

Day two was another gorgeous sunny day and it seemed appropriate time to explore London's oldest highway--the River Thames.  After breakfast we headed to Westminster Pier where we purchased a ticket to Greenwich on the 10:30 AM boat. 

The river is an ideal place from which to view the historic monuments of London,

some of the recent additions to the city scape, and

 and the vast array of modern skyscrapers with extraordinary shapes and fanciful names. 

The so called "Shard" above is now the tallest building in London but the "Walkie Talkie" on the left and  the "Gherkin" on the right in the shot below keep Londoners' sense of humor alive.

The old meets the new everywhere you look.  The Wren Church of All Hallows by the Tower is stunning  when placed against the crane bedappled top of the "Walkie-Talkie."

It doesn't take long from Westminster to reach Tower Bridge.  The view from under the bridge is not the normal scenic shot. 

As soon as you cross downstream of the Tower, you are in the old docklands area. The river is now lined with old warehouses converted into luxury flats and with new construction. 

Before you know it you are circling in front of Inigo Jones' Queen's House and preparing to land at Greenwich Pier.

Our initial destination was the Royal Observatory and we all had the chance to place our feet simultaneously in the eastern and western hemispheres on the "0" meridian.  

There was a bizarre "steamunk"  art exhibition inside the Observatory itself.

Just the view from Observatory Hill is worth the climb.

Back down the hill for some lunch and then a visit to the famous tea clipper Cutty Sark. 

Like the London skyline, It has changed a lot since our first visit back in the 70's.

Jan and David in 1972
Grandson TJ in 2014

 A massive fire during a restoration a few years ago was actually a good thing according to one of the ticket takers as it created a public campaign that raised a lot more money than had originally been assigned to the fixing the old ship up.

  The old tea clipper was completely restored and in an engineering marvel that has to be seen to be believed has been suspended in thin air on steel supports.

You can now have tea and crumpets underneath the massive hull of the ship.

The only problem is one feels just a bit uncomfortable down there with all that bulk suspended overhead.    

























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