A Boat, A Train, A Play

Today we tried out two different methods of transportation: We took the Thames Clipper from Embankment to Greenwich. For £6.80 we got a 40 minute ride on the Thames with great views along the way. The boat is quite comfortable and stops right at the Cutty Sark. We discovered it while at the Tower of London, since it also stops at Westminster Pier. I’ve found that my curiosity often yields fun surprises.

We took the obligatory picture at the Royal Observatory standing on the prime meridian

At Jake’s feet is Chicago.

(which we were informed is not really the GPS prime meridian–that lies about 100 meters into the park in front of the building. We got lucky because we walked into a building and a lovely volunteer was just beginning a talk on the invention of a reliable chronometer for navigating east and west on the ocean. Of course, Jake stumped the volunteer, who is an astronomer. He asked how they wound the clock without stopping it. since stopping it would make it less accurate. Anyone know?The grounds and the park are beautiful and there are lovely views across the river. Something I didn’t know about, but I’m glad I discovered is the Queen’s House, directly next to the Natioanl Maritime Museum. The house is chock full of amazing art and not Image result for armada portrait of queen elizabeth 1all of it is seamen and ships! In fact, the Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth by George Gower (this one) hangs there as do portraits of Henry VIII and others.

Greenwich itself is a cute tourist town pubs, restaurants and shops plus a market housing food stalls and random flea market fair. On the way back, we took the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which is overland and offers more lovely views. That completed our tour of all the trains London has to offer except the tram.

For our last hurrah, we saw The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, from the same folks who produce The Play That Goes Wrong, at the Criterion Theatre. Puns, farce, slapstick, and some crazy scene changes and stage trick had us laughing and laughing. It was a great cap to an amazing trip. Tomorrow, we head home.

Cheers, London!

Next Up … London


What? Big Ben is silent and there are no doubledecker buses or telephone booths? My image of London is shattered (sha doo be).

Next up for me anyway. Steven is going to miss this trip.  Aunt Susie is taking her nephew to London as a high school graduation present. (Yes, I am the world’s best aunt!!) My nephew is a joy to travel with. He laughs easily, is game to try things, and looks at the world with interest and intellect. We will miss the royal wedding (I didn’t realize you were invited); our weeklong trip starts May 29 and we’re are staying at an AirBnB in St. John’s Wood.

All suggestions are welcome! I haven’t been to London for more than 25 years. We don’t have a complete game plan, but he is a math/science guy getting ready to head off to college, so Greenwich, Stonehenge, a museum or two, and Oxford or Cambridge (which one do you recommend?) Don’t come home if you don’t get a picture of you crossing Abbey Road. I am going to be the ultimate tourist. Too bad Big Ben is silent. I guess we will have to go back.Maybe I will even wear big, white sneakers so everyone will know without me opening my mouth that we are American. We are thinking about Chunneling to Paris for the day, but there is a train strike in France and as much as I would love to be stranded in Paris, I think my sister-in-law would kill me if I didn’t bring her son home.