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Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday...the long version

Well, I like to tell things in detail because this is my journal too, so if you don’t like details, just skip on down to the summary version in the previous entry!

Sunday morning started a little cloudy, but by about 10, it was obviously going to be a gorgeous day, so I headed to Greenwich. I decided to walk there because the DLR (Docklands Light Railway, a public train service that connects to the Underground but serves the East End) was closed for maintenance. In hindsight, this was one for the ever-expanding “it seemed like a good idea at the time” file. Oh, well! I just walked about 45 minutes down a sort of random city road. I guess it was good to see a very, very average part of town. Anyway, I arrived at the park at the tip of the Isle of Dogs, where there are some lovely views across the river to Greenwich, and just thought, “Hallelujah…back in tourist land at last!”

I took the foot tunnel under the river, which was kind of neat, though definitely old and a little drippy. When I came out, though, I was immediately so pleased I’d made a good choice for the day. Greenwich is definitely touristy, but it also has that sort of quaint English look that we tourists love! There was an open market going on, so I poked around that a bit and then walked round the river by the Royal Naval College.

I had lunch at Trafalgar Tavern, which was kind of a mistake, as the food was crappy and there was a table of unbelievably poorly behaved children running around the patio. But, it definitely had a nice atmosphere, and I would recommend it for a drink, just not really a meal.

Then I walked up to the National Maritime Museum, finding myself just loving the architecture and the views from every angle. I knew I couldn’t take in the entire museum, so I checked out an exhibit about the naval influence on fashion, starting with when Queen Victoria had little Prince Edward a sailor suit made, and continuing through haute couture by Chanel and Galliano. Then, I visited the Admiral Lord Nelson exhibits upstairs, where they have the coat he was wearing when he was shot and killed…eeks. You can see the bullet hole. (He was a famous naval, uh, admiral who led the British to all sorts of fabulous victories…I hope none of my former history teachers read this.)

I walked through the park and up the very steep hill to the Royal Observatory and listened to a very interesting explanation of why the Prime Meridian was created, which had to do with giving sailors a fixed point where the time was established, from which they could calculate their exact location at sea. After almost 2,000 British sailors drowned at sea, it became a national challenge to find a solution to the navigation problem. They had lots of interesting exhibits about time and worldwide timekeeping. (Insert scads of tourists in the photo below.)

The views of the city from the Royal Observatory were awesome, and there were tons of people out on the lawn enjoying the day, just like this photo I found on the Internet (like all the other photos...I am finding this to be so much more efficient than hauling a camera around).

From Greenwich, I decided to take a river boat down the Thames, because I couldn’t bear the thought of walking back home! This was a lovely way to spend the afternoon, since the sun was shining and the temperature was so pleasant. It was almost 5 p.m. by then, so I took the Underground back home.

I washed my first load of laundry in my washer/dryer combo – you just put it in with the detergent, and it cycles through the entire wash and dry…I think you can take things out mid-way if you don’t want everything dried.

Last night, I met Eduardo and some of his friends for drinks and dinner. Due to many concerns about that situation from the Peanut Gallery, I will just say that I am glad I saw him, but I don’t believe I’ll try to get together with him again.
Well, week 2 at work is proving to be equally busy...they weren't kidding when they said they were understaffed over here!

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