Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Greenwich Royal Observatory & Cutty Sark - Touring Tuesday

We have learned many things since moving to London.  The one I'll focus on today is when the sun is out you should be too.  Last Sunday the sun was high in the sky with big puffy clouds.

We took the journey to Greenwich (Gren-itch).  The family checked a new train line off our list, which made Youngest Kiddo super excited - The Docklands Light Rail (aka DLR).  Riding the DLR is not unlike riding an Underground train, except for two things: it does not go underground and you can see out the front window.  It reminded me of back in the day when you could ride in the front of the monorail at Disney World :)

Our adventure started at the Greenwich Royal Observatory, which is where time begins - GMT or Greenwich Mean Time.  The world's time zones are based off this line called the Prime Meridian.  Oldest Kiddo studied this just before we left Chicago so this was a great field trip for her.  She also found a plaque stating that the current location of the Prime Meridian had moved many years ago.  I guess a few feet doesn't screw up the watches of the world too badly.


The Royal Observatory is situated up a steep hill which provided for a nice view of the city.  

The Emirates Airline gondolas - we'll ride these on a calm day
The Orbital Tower at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Heart of London with the Gherkin in the middle

We took several obligatory goofy shots as one would when visiting.  Especially since we had to pay a few pounds to pass through the gate to the Prime Meridian.  We squeezed our £16 family entrance fee to the max.  

Hemispheres apart
We stopped at a Tex-Mex place for lunch.  I was astounded that the kids' offerings had neither Tex nor Mex on it.  Our waitress shared that British kids don't like tacos & quesadillas.  They are content with fish fingers and hamburgers.  How is a kid ever going to learn?  Toss a cheese quesadilla on there would ya?  If I only ruled the world.......

After lunch we crossed town to the Cutty Sark.  This beautiful ship had a good life as first a tea ship and later for cargo.  It was recently refurbished after a fire, and she is a beauty.

The self-guided tour starts below deck where you can see the construction of the ship.  I wish I had more time to read the information about the Cutty Sark's history, but I had Youngest Kiddo as my partner who had other ideas.  He wanted to drive the ship so the sooner he could get above deck the better.

I was smitten by the ship's masts.  I could only imagine what it looked like when the sails were out and the brave (or crazy) men that climbed them to keep the ship running.

We also marveled at another great view of the city.  
The London Eye on the left & The Shard on the right
The final part of the tour is to walk under the ship.  This vantage point helps you ascertain the massive size of this vessel.

We paid £36 for admission (Youngest Kiddo was free).  Greenwich is a cute town, and I can see how warm weekends would be jam packed.  If you decide to visit in the warmer months I highly suggest pre purchasing admission tickets.

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