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Saturday, 13 August 2016

A Life on the Ocean Wave.

We decided to go over to Greenwich today and have a guided walk in the morning. We took the Tube to Bank Station and I had a young man give up his seat for me! I wasn't too sure whether I was happy or not. I did blush though. To get my own back on the way home I asked a bloke with a big case who looked a couple of years older than me if he needed a hand! We then got on the DLR over to Greenwich and got off in good time at the Cutty Sark which was where our walk was to start.

I think the 'Cutty Sark' was suffered more perils since it has been a shore than it did at sea! It is looking pretty good since it's latest renovation following a fire. She was launched in Dumbarton in 1869 but didn't act as a tea clipper for very long. Named after a short shift that a ghost wore in a Robert Burns poem.

There were only three of us on the walk so it was easy to hear everything. We walked past what was the Royal Navy Hospital. In the middle is the Queen's House that was built for the Queen of James I, Anne of Denmark, and was completed in 1619. Even earlier there was Greenwich Palace that was built around the time of Henry VI. Henry VII built a bigger and better palace and called it the Palace of Placentia. Henry VIII, Mary and Elizabeth were born here. The Royal Hospital was built by Christopher Wren, it is said it was in two halves so as not to interrupt the view of the Queen's House.

The view from next to the Royal Observatory is a classic with a good juxtaposition of the Queen's House and Royal naval Hospital with the Canary Wharf Development. The open land below was where the equestrian events were held during the Olympic Games in 2012. There are 13 protected sight lines in London that mainly protect the view of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Palace of West Minster from High ground. It seems now that there are people looking to obtain the same for the 'Gherkin'.

One wing of the Hospital, west, house the refectory for the 'inmates'. It is said to be the best dining hall in the country as it is highly decorated. This is the end wall and the artist James Hill took 19 years to pain the entire space, starting in 1708. He was paid £3 a yard for the ceiling and £1 a yard for the walls! He was knighted for it but was crippled at the end through laying on his back for so long. I think that the painted figure bottom right is the painter himself. Admiral Nelson was laid in state here after his death at Trafalgar.

On the other side is the Chapel that the sailors had to attend. It was completed in 1751. It is a stunning neo-classical design.

The colonnades are also impressive and the lights were swing a little in the breeze. 

This giant ship in a bottle was previously on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar square.

There was a wedding in the Chapel today and later we saw the bridal party and later up Croom's Hill we saw this coach and horses waiting patiently. Coom's Hill is apparently the oldest named street in the country and old English for winding hill.

There is another great view point from Point Hill and very few people so you don't have to elbow folk out of the way. There is a stone memorial to an Australian Pilot who was killed on the hill flying a Hurricane in WWII.

On the waterfront is the Trinity Hospital and the charity dates back to 1613. This building was put up in 1812. They still provide 41 flats for the reduced in circumstances that have lived in Greenwich for at least 4 years. In the background is the turbine hall and chimneys of Greenwich Power Station. It was built in 1902 to provide power for the London Trams. It was powered by coal but converted to gas in the 1960's. They wanted to have taller chimneys but the Royal Observatory objected.

The tide is falling and revealing a beach with some good sand at the top. The view past the Trafalgar pub and Royal Naval Hospital to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel entrance and the Cutty Sark makes you think it may be the seaside.

We decided to take the Clipper back into Town and after a wait of about 30 mins we were away.

We were passing Limehouse Basin at a bit more speed than we left it a couple of years ago.

The Tower of London doesn't look the same as from the top of 'Walkie Talkie'.

In the Pool of London HMS Belfast looks great in the sun and with Tower Bridge behind.

We got off at Westminster Pier and decided to walk to Victoria and as we cleared the crowds at the foot of Big Ben I couldn't resist taking this picture with the sun on Big Ben, which of course is actually The Elizabeth Tower having been renamed for Queen Elizabeth II diamond jubilee in 2012. It had been just the Clock Tower previously and had been built in 1859. Big Ben is actually the name of the Great Bell.

Our legs are very tired today, but a bit of a rest day tomorrow.

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