14 May 2013


A day of close misses packed full with sights. Up early to drive to Epping where we planned to catch the underground into London. Unfortunately, the long-term parking was filled up already at 9:00 and we had to park about ten minutes away. Even more unfortunately, as soon as we were all back at the station with tickets in hand, it was announced that a train had broken down and there would be no more service through Epping until nobody knew when. Undaunted, we got back to our car and drove to Debden which is a couple stations down the line closer to London and past the break-down - plenty of parking there. Finally on the underground, we zoomed into London.

We went first to Saint James Square by way of Fortnum and Mason, a posh and delectable grocery shop which is known for being the royal family's grocers. Saint James Square holds not only the Lybian embassy which was famously sieged in the eighties, but is also the location of the flat that my Opa lived in for various scattered weeks throughout several years around that time.

After lunch we headed back out to the Embankment and caught a ferry to Greenwich. We passed many of the famous sights that I wasn't able to capture during my previous visits to London. They are as follows.

While we arrived safe and sound on the Greenwich dock, we had very little time to get up to the Royal Observatory, our ultimate goal, before its ticket counter closed. Once we were sure we were pointed in the correct direction, we all powered up the massive hill upon which the observatory is built.

While going up and feeling my legs work hard and my lungs work even harder, I was inwardly complaining at the people who put such a popular attraction way up at the top of a hill where it was hard to get to. As I was in the middle of these thoughts, I realized that "of course they have to put it on a hill...it's an observatory" and felt quite silly.

The observatory is famously at 0° 0' 0", where the first measurements for longitude were made and all such measurements have been taken from since. It is also home to the Harrison Clocks which are stunningly awe inspiring. His craftsmanship is mind-blowing.

Coming back down from the observatory we headed through rare sunshine in order to return to the ferry dock. There the Cutty Sark is permanently moored and on display in all her beauty.

Right next to her is an inconspicuous little dome building. In we walked, down we went in the lift, and out we came into the Greenwich walking tunnel which takes you straight under the Thames and over to the other side. We sang the Doxology as we went in order to enjoy the echoes to the fullest, and what echoes they were. Long, drawn out, yet clear and accurate. It sounded as if we were joined by twenty other people instead of just the three of us singing.

Back at street level, we slipped into the nearest underground station and took ourselves back to Debden and home.

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