London Pictures – 3 August 2007 (Part Three)

After that walk from Tower Hill to Westminster, we got on a river boat for a trip to Greenwich. The boat had an open deck with lots of seats, and provided a great view as we moved along the Thames, seeing some of the same sights from different angles.

At Greenwich, we had a look round Flamsteed House, the original Royal Observatory – that was rather special for me, as I grew up reading every astronomy book I could get my hands on, and I remember seeing pictures of the room with the telescopes. To actually be in that room was really great. I also enjoyed seeing the Harrison Chronometers, the first seriously accurate clocks small and stable enough to be carried on ships, and which allowed sailors to work out their longitude with a great deal of precision for the first time. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you read Longitude by Dava Sobel, an excellent little book which tells the whole story[1].

Declining to stand in line to stand on the line, well, the Prime Meridian, that is, we had a wander back through Greenwich Park, enjoying the view of the Old Royal Naval College, the O2 Arena (formerly known as the Millennium Dome), and the modern towers of Canary Wharf. By either luck or careful planning, from the right place in Greenwich Park, the Canary Wharf buildings can be nicely framed by the smaller, but infinitely more tasteful towers of the Naval College.

After all that, a wee drinkie and some dinner, we went through the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames, which gave us a lovely view of the Naval College basking in the setting sun. I went back to my hotel, and got a few pictures of the skyline.

There’s a moderate selection of pictures in this album showing all the stuff I’ve just mentioned.

[1] Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time