Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

London 2010: Day 4 - Monday

Even though we celebrated with dinner on Friday night, Monday was our actual seventh anniversary. Monday was also going to be our last full day in London.

Before we left for our trip, we considered making a day trip to experience Stonehenge. We were both extremely interested in seeing the ancient structure, but weren't sure if we were willing to forfeit an entire day for the trip. Ultimately, we decided against the trip. Instead, we decided to make the trip to Greenwich.

That morning, we had a later start to the day. We asked the concierge at our hotel what was the best way to travel to Greenwich. He said we could make it there via the London Underground, but several transfers would be involved. That way was generally too time-consuming. He strongly recommended the one hour boat ride on the River Thames. We agreed and headed to the Westminster Pier and embarked for Greenwich.

When we began the boat ride, he wondered if it would be too cold. In the end, the ride was fine, with only a slight chill. Our tour guide was hysterical. He pointed out sites along the way and used his British sense of humor. We passed the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral, the replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the site where the Mayflower left dock to head to North America, and many more, including Dame Judi Dench's home.

About an hour later, we arrived at Greenwich Pier. First things first. We stopped at little pub for lunch. While there, the only Rolling Stones song I heard played on the radio. It was Gimme Shelter from their 1969 album Let it Bleed. And for the record, I didn't hear a single song by The Beatles. Kind of a bummer. Good thing I whistled a few while crossing Abbey Road.

Following lunch, we climbed the steep hill and reached the Royal Observatory. We quickly passed through the museum and saw the monument at the Prime Meridian. Yes, I took the obligatory shot with one foot in the east and the other in the west. I know, it's cliche. Also, I logged another geocache. Since the Earth isn't a true sphere, the Prime Meridian isn't at true zero. It's more of an ellipsoid, so it's about 100 meters off. We made the trek down the hill, much easier this time, and walked on the grounds of the Royal Naval College. What an ornate building.

We hopped back on the boat and jumped off one stop early. Rather than return to Westminster, we left at the St. Katherine Docks and toured old London. We walked by the Tower of London, but the lines were too long to get inside. I've heard it's remarkable inside. Well, not for people in ancient times when they were getting beheaded. Eventually, we made our way to St. Paul's Cathedral. The official tours ended at 4 p.m., but they had a choral event at 5 p.m., so we entered the cathedral for free and listened to the choir for a substantial portion of the service. St. Paul's was the site of Winston Churchill's funeral in the 1960s, and the wedding of Charles and Diana in the early 1980s. What a stunning place. Susan said the only church more impressive was St. Peter's in Vatican City.

Since it was getting late, I wanted to jump on the London Underground and make one more music stop. We rode to the Pimlico stop in search of the Battersea Power Station. If you're a fan of Pink Floyd, this is the building on their 1977 Animals album cover with the inflatable pig. By the time we arrived, it was getting too dark for photos, but I wanted to grab a few before we left.

We returned to our hotel, grabbed dinner and called it a night. We had to pack and get ready for our trip back home. I had a few things that I wanted to do in the morning, so I needed to make sure I was ready to leave.

Tags:  England, London
Another great day. Maybe you can hit the Stonehenge next visit.
LGrant   Tuesday, November 2, 2010
What a trip you had!! You guys saw so many things - you must have been exhausted!
stheinz   Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I certainly was. I wish we had more time there, but that's all the vacation I had left for 2010.
Bill Pearch   Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I'm very familiar with the Battersea Power station as the train line I always used to take into London from my home town went past. One of my favorite buildings.
Just in case you're interested, the Earth is actually an oblate spheroid!
Sounds like you're making a great trip.
LimeyGeorge   Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Oblate spheroid? I'll have to pass that along to the Geocaching page. Thanks!
Bill Pearch   Wednesday, November 3, 2010
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