London Day Two … Greenwich, the Tower and the Eye

DSC_2250One of us was up at 7:00, working over breakfast while the other finished her 12 DSC_2264hours of beauty rest.  Needless to say we had a late start to the day.  Eventually we left the hotel.  Making the decision to take the London Underground vs walking and telling Maggie it was for the experience and not because I was hurting from all the walking we did DSC_2266yesterday, honest!   From the train we boarded a boat to take us up the Thames for a morning, now approaching afternoon, in DSC_2269Greenwich.  The time on the water was a great way to see the London’s sites from a totally different prospective.  At one point a group 20150624_111902of Japanese tourist boarded and Maggie was able to experience the stereotypical Japanese tourist and them to Americans!

We discovered Greenwich is a beautiful and historic area full of green grass and a DSC_2273DSC_2332refreshment from the city. We were met by the Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper as we left the boat dock, but really it was simply a boat out of the water.

We worked our way through the small streets of the town and DSC_2280eventually found a spot in the shade on the lawn of the National Maritime Museum reviewing our plan of attack for the day with 100s of school kids running all around.  DSC_2295Maggie found a great spot to sit on some of the impressive collection of Britain’s seafaring history.

DSC_2306The highlight was the Royal Observatory DSC_2310with views over the river Thames towards London’s Canary Wharf.  We had fun taking pictures on the Meridian line and hopping over it.  The only disappointing aspect was DSC_2296all of this required we walk up and back down a large hill.  We rewarded our efforts DSC_2323with lunch outside the Greenwich Tavern before discovering a book store on our way back to the boat.  The stop at the book store initial sounded like a good Idea. Maggie sold it as a chance for me to sit and have a cup of coffee and check my work e-mails.  I did not realize this was not a short stop as eventually after my coffee and DSC_2318DSC_2318cleaning up my e-mails, I had to go in search of her and help her make a decision between about 20 books.  She settled on one – It All in your Head.  It was now about 4:00 and we had limited time to hit our next stop the London Tower.DSC_2329

We arrived at the Tower, having pre booked our tickets and found we only had an hour DSC_2344until they closed.  The women suggested it would take well over two hours and we should consider coming back another day.  Maggie and I looked at each other and said to one another, one hour should be fine and set off as fast as we could.  We covered every room from the White Tower to the room with DSC_2362the Crown Jewels of England, the inner and outer wards and even the top of the wallsDSC_2343 themselves.  The only thing that slowed us down was when someone yelled Mr. Hall… As we turned we saw Joe Byrnes and his 3 boys – It’s a small world.

DSC_2366We were herded out of the tower and crossed the River Themes via “The Tower Bridge” (But we still called it London Bridge); and yes, we did sing “London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down…”

After a short walk on the Queens Walk way along the river, we were on the DSC_2241Underground again for the experience not to save walking.  Our destination was the DSC_2381London Eye…  With fast passes in hand we skipped the line and made the 30 minute ride, mesmerized by the view and starting to think about dinner.

DSC_2386It was a long walk back to Piccadilly, both with sore feet.  It was about 8:00 when we finally made it to the room and 10:00 when we called it a night and after a nice dinner in a little square behind our hotel.

About JSH

There are more than 195 countries in the world by my count and I want to see them all before they all start to look the same – The United Nations has 192 members, but they do not recognized two independent countries, the Vatican City and Kosovo. U.S. Department of State recognizes 194 independent countries around the world, but their list has a political agenda and is missing Taiwan. All of this is without getting into the dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes called “countries” such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England) and without counting states and provinces like Texas and Montréal that think they are independent countries. No madder how you count or tag them they are changing, starting to look the same and losing a little bit of themself every day. I do not want to see the world through the eyes of Las Vegas or Disney, like reading the Cliff Notes of a Hemingway novel; you get the idea but miss the point! Life is short, but how long live is up to you…
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