Still unseasonably warm in London at 50F/10C. Given a forecast of another day without rain, I decided to visit Greenwich Observatory just outside of downtown London. Had several options to get there but settled on going by boat via the River Thames.
Greenwich Observatory is where you can see and learn about the prime meridian – the delineation where the east hemisphere meets the west – or zero degrees longitude. Not to give the whole history, but at some point it was decided to use Greenwich Observatory to mark zero degrees as the standard for world navigation.
My departure point was Westminster Pier so I walked down next to the Thames and got in a few extra steps and enjoyed the views along the river. Then, using my Oyster Card (more on this later) and my senior discount, I booked passage to Greenwich on a boat that leaves every 40 minutes from the Westminster dock.
The map below shows everywhere I went yesterday. The blue dot (left center) is where I’m staying in London. Looks like Greenwich is a two-hour walk from the Westminster Pier but the boat ride was a little over 30 minutes.
I took some pictures while walking down to Westminster.
When I was in London last July, I saw that the old Battersea Power Station was being re-developed. As of December, it looks like there has been a lot of progress. The old power station was deserted for many years and was a rather odd attraction that really stood out along the river across from Pimlico and Chelsea, near where I’m staying.
A variety of condominiums and apartments can be found along the river as well.
Down near the parliament buildings is the Buxton Memorial, commemorating the emancipation of slaves following the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act.
Further down, is a look at Westminster Abby from the “back side” and the parliament buildings too. I hadn’t approached them from this direction before.
Took some pictures on the way to Greenwich, including some new pictures of Tower Bridge – a view from our approach to the bridge, then pictures of each of the towers.
The Tower of London is just on the other side of the bridge.
Further down, was St. Paul’s.
Upon arriving at Greenwich, you can see the Cutty Sark, built in 1869, was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest as well.
Greenwich Park, just beyond the town of Greenwich and below the observatory, is a vast park with wide walkways. I saw several dog owners playing fetch – a great place for it.
The National Maritime Museum is also located in Greenwich. I didn’t try to visit – and based upon its size of the museum, think this would be an all-day event.
The walk up to the observatory is a good up-hill climb from the park. The view, once you get to the top is well worth the climb! Today was not an exceptionally clear day, but you could see back into downtown London – especially “The Shard” sticking up near the river.
The two pictures below are looking down on the park and view beyond.
The observatory and adjacent buildings contain a number of exhibits with samples of equipment used for maritime navigation, using clocks, stars, and maps to track and plan voyages at sea.
Just outside the observatory is a demonstration of the prime meridian. Many people (like me in the red shoes) straddling the prime meridian and being in both the east and west hemispheres. The cities shown below, mark their relative latitude along with their longitude. Reykjavik, as can be seen in way up there (upper left).
I walked through the town of Greenwich on the way back to the boat and took a few pictures. “No” to Pie & Mash with Eels, Christmas decorations, and the Humped Pelican Crossing.
On the way back into London, captured a nice picture of the approaching sunset (3:30 p.m.)
And the London Eye…
When I arrived at Victoria Station, got a picture looking from inside the station to the outside.
Later in the evening, I watched the movie, “Rouge One” at a cinema on King’s Road in Chelsea. On the way back, at around 10:00 p.m., I took some pictures of Christmas lighting.