Thursday, 14 May 2015


Wednesday 13th May 2015

Another day and another day out, putting our oyster cards to good use yet again and getting around the network to more and more places.
Today we ventured along the Hammersmith and City line to Bow Road and then took the lovely DLR down to Greenwich.
Our initial intention had been to visit the National Maritime Museum - not having been to this area before we had no real idea as to the extent of what was around.

Enjoying the trip is part of the idea

We had thought that the Greenwich Observatory would be around here -and it was, but after a look through the visitor centre, it was obvious that a guided tour was worthwhile, so we did - and it was one of the 2-for-1 vouchers available to us as well.
We started the tour with the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC)

The Cutty Sark - found out is was originally built to bring back tea from China
as quickly as possible - nothing more, nothing less

Our guide, Simon - I swear that his hair was really a thatched-roof borrowed
from a house somewhere in the Cotswolds.

Sir Walter Raleight - he of the lay the cloak down

The early part
Henry VI eventually took over Bella Court after The Duke of Gloucester was wrongly charged,imprisoned, tried, convicted and executed of treason - seems Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, liked the original buildings and wanted them for herself.

Successive monarchs - Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I were all born in Bella Court.

In 1664, work commenced to replace Bella Court with a new palace in the style of Versailles, by Charles II, but money and patience ran out and only one of the planned buildings was completed.

King Charles Court - built by Charles II

After that time it was another 30 years before a Royal Charter was granted for the buildings to be completed and become a Royal Hospital for seamen.

This was the original building to be completed and is known as King Charles Court

On the hill above the ORNC is the site for the Greenwich Observatory - at about
12:55 pm the red ball is raised and then released on the stroke of 1 pm as a means
for vessels to set their clocks.

Part of the buildings' use these days is a music college and this group appeared
for a display of their singing talents
 Set further back from the buildings and below the observatory is another building simply called The Old Queen's House which was built prior to the Civil War and after the restoration of Charles II to the throne became the home for his mother.
The Colonnades on either side are on the line of a road that existed at the time
the house was built and in order to accommodate the request of the queen at the time
to be able to either enter the park (on the Thames side) or the park on the other side,
a bridge was built between the two sections of the house - she then didn't need to have to
be in contact with the common folk.

here is the colonnade along the line of the road.

There are now three internal bridges in the house - the centre one is the original
Looking back towards Canary Wharf from the ORNC
The building complex became a hospital for seaman, although only the original buidling was put to that use and in 1869 it became the Royal Naval College

The National Maritime Museum

 We climbed the hill behind The Old Queen's House to the Royal Observatory and the views were something special - well worth the climb up the mountain for Diane

The Dome of St.Pauls

The original standards for measurement of these lengths in Britain
The walk down the hill was much easier; the tour, by this stage was over, and were stopped to watch a squirrel edging it's way closer to us - eventually Diane thought it was after some food, so she held out a small piece of an oatmeal bar, which it took out of her hand

...and was quite satisfied with.

We then revisited the old hospital buildings - in one was a Painted Hall - 

and further on we finally visited the National Maritime Museum - our original reason for coming here

We were a bit disappointed with the museum - it didn't have a flow to the exhibitions as you would expect - there were bits and pieces everywhere without a logical continuation between them.
It was a pity as there were many very fine pieces to be seen.

One pieces that caught our attention was a wind-up musical pig which was saved from the sinking Titanic --

One last thing to do before we journeyed home was to traverse the tunnel running under the Thames from Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs.

We were lucky today - not too much water dripping - from the condensation
of water emitted by the people using the tunnel rather than any leaks - I hope
that is the case.

and looking back across the Thames from whence we came

Earlier in the day on our way down to Greenwich we spotted that there was a bus that went from Bow-Church through to Paddington, so on our DLR trip back to Bow-Church we opted to use the road return trip - just to see a bit more than the inside of a train carriage.
And we had seats upstairs at the front..

caught some of the peak-time traffic

This lot were keen having a drink on the way home

This poor guy had lost half of his bike - at least he had the half with the seat

Diane took this photo saying it reminded her of her mother; I thought
it was a reminder of Millie's youngest  daughter.
The bus trip took a bit longer than the train but was well worth it to see more of the city - eventually we hopped off outside the station and it was a short walk (well another 1000 steps) back to the boat.
Plenty of people outside the pubs having a drink - is it just Wednesdays or every day ending in a "y"?

Another long day; another day getting back on the tired side - we will have to slow down a bit, sometime.

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