Norway (Day 18, Part 1)

July 5

London (Greenwich), England

Pip, pip, cheerio, and all that rot!  We’re at the last stop on the cruise.  Since we did it for ‘Edinburgh’, here is the proper pronunciation for ‘Greenwich’ as well – it’s pronounced ‘Worcestershire’ . . .

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[We awoke to London out our balcony window . . . ]

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[Anchored in the Thames, a river of some history and repute . . . ]

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[In the left background, The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 95-story supertall skyscraper, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, in Southwark, London, that forms part of the Shard Quarter development (Wikipedia).]

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[Assuming this is a sought after neighborhood . . . ]

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[The Gherkin (known previously as the Swiss Re Building) is a commercial skyscraper in London’s primary financial district, the City of London.  So informally named because it looks like a pickle (or a football or an egg).   It was completed in December 2003 and opened in April 2004 (Wikipedia).]

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[A closer-upper of the Gherkin . . . ]

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[A closer-upper of the Shard . . . ]

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[A farther-awayer of the Shard . . . ]

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[Just because we’re getting better light . . . ]

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[Ole woke up and wanted a look see at where we were now . . . ]

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[Ole recalled that his ancestors once vacationed, or pillaged, here . . . ]

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[It brought a smile to his face . . . ]

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[We seem to have drifted as we now had a clear shot of the skyscrapered city . . . ]

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[We did have to anchor in river center as it is tidal and we didn’t want to get stuck . . . ]

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[Beautiful sky over merry ole England . . . ]

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[Is that the name of a song?]

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[Now we’re looking at the riverside where we will disembark.  The three visible masts are on the clipper Cutty Sark, our first stop ashore.  The two domes on the left are the Old Royal Naval College, in whose vicinity we would be taking a guided walking tour . . . ]

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[Our going to shore transporation, MNBA Thames Clippers . . . ]

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[It wasn’t a long distance, but I wouldn’t want to swim it . . . ]

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[I admittedly committed no offences . . . ]

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[A view of our ship from our river clipper . . . ]

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[Land ho!  (After about a 2 minute ride) . . . ]

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[And now a view of our ship from land . . . ]

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[And there’s the Cutty Sark, adjacent to the pier . . . ]

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[Trending toward the Cutty Sark, the clock tower of St. Alfege Parish church, Royal Borough of Greenwich, in the background . . . ]

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[‘Cutty Sark’ is a British clipper ship.  Built on the River Leven, Dumbarton, Scotland in 1869, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development, which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion.  ‘Cutty Sark’ is listed by National Historic Ships as part of the National Historic Fleet.  She is one of only three remaining original composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the nineteenth century in part or whole (Wikipedia).]

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[I thought this quite helpful, lest you’ve forgetten your Roman numerals . . . ]

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[Nannie the figurehead comes from ‘Tam O’Shanter’, a poem by Robert Burns.  In the poem Tam is a farmer who is chased by a scantily-clad witch called Nannie.  Nannie is dressed only in a ‘cutty sark’ – an archaic Scottish name for a short nightdress.  Cutty Sark’s figurehead is a depiction of Nannie the witch, holding a horse’s tail (www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/we-recommend/attractions/nannie-cutty-sark-figurehead).]

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[And now leaving the Cutty Sark for our walking tour of Greenwich . . . ]

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[Our group and our guide (whose name I’ve course forgotten, but it wasn’t Clive) . . . ]

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[Lest you’re not sure, it’s the Gipsy Moth . . . ]

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[And on into Greenwich . . . ]

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[In case you’re thinking of committing an offence . . . ]

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[The aforementioned clock tower . . . ]

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[Meridian House (Old Greenwich Town Hall) . . . ]

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[University of Greenwich . . . ]

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[We had no idea Bill had a dining facility here.  Appears to be a student favorite . . . ]

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[There’s a famous meridian that runs though here somewhere . . . ]

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[The university . . . ]

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[I have no reason to doubt that this is King William Walk . . . ]

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[De Vere Venue Devonport House Hotel . . . ]

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[Where folks live . . . ]

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[The Greenwich Tavern located at 1 King William Walk . . . ]

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[We were here, as noted an 8 minute walk from the pier . . . ]

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[At the entry to Greenwich Park . . . ]

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[Where William IV greets you . . . ]

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[Sculpted by Samuel Nixon in 1844 . . . ]

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[Our guide, with the Greenwich Tavern across the street . . . ]

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[Hmm, not open?]

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[Yinka Shonibare’s ship, a scaled-down replica of Nelson’s ship Victory first seen on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, was installed in its new home in Greenwich, outside the new Sammy Ofer wing of the National Maritime Museum.  Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (possibly the largest in the world), 4.7 metres in length and 2.8 metres in diameter, went on display in time for the museum’s 75th anniversary on 25 April, 2012 (www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/apr/23).]

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[The Super with a peace rose (?) bush . . . ]7-5-19-55 - Copy

[The colonnade of Queen’s House in Greenwich Park . . . ]

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[Turning 180 degrees to the Royal Observatory on the hill across the park. Greenwich Park is a former hunting park in Greenwich and one of the largest single green spaces in south-east London. One of the Royal Parks of London, and the first to be enclosed, it covers 74 hectares, and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site (Wikipedia).]

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[The Royal Observatory, Greenwich is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames.  It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and because the prime meridian passes through it, it gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time (Wikipedia).]

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[Looking back at the Old Town Hall . . . ]

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[The Super and her roses below the Royal Observatory . . . ]

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[Looking between the domes of the Old Royal Naval College, across the Thames to the city on the far side . . . ]

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[Amid the colonnades of Queen’s House . . . ]

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[Walking toward the college and the river . . . ]

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[Then looking back at Queen’s House, a former royal residence built between 1616 and 1635 in Greenwich, a few miles down-river from the then City of London and now a London Borough.  Its architect was Inigo Jones, for whom it was a crucial early commission, for Anne of Denmark, the queen of King James I.  Queen’s House is one of the most important buildings in British architectual history, being the first consciously classical building to have been constructed in the country.  Today the building is both a Grade I listed building and a scheduled ancient monument, a status that includes the 115-foot-wide (35 m), axial vista to the River Thames.  The house now forms part of the National Maritime Museum and is used to display parts of their substantial collection of maritime paintings and portraits.  It was used as a VIP centre during the 2012 Olympic Games (Wikipedia).]

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[Walking back parallel to the colonnades on the left . . . ]

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[The Royal Observatory beyond the colonnades . . . ]

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[With Bill leading, trending toward . . . ]

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[The National Maritime Museum was opened to the public on 27 April 1937 by King George VI.  The museum building began life in 1807 as a school for the children of seafarers.  The museum includes a gallery of special exhibitions, including a permanent gallery “Voyagers” which introduces the story of Britain and the sea.  The museum was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 (www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park/).]

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[I think the best I’m going to do here . . . ]

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[Is to say these are the buildings and mall of the naval college looking down toward the Thames . . . ]

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[Obviously, with an open mall this large music events are a natural . . . ]

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[We went through this building and . . . ]

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[Came out here.  Were we in Rome?]

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[This was a really cool place, whatever it is . . . ]

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[But there are the twin domes above us . . . ]

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[Bill notices a photo op . . . ]

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[We’re almost to the river and here’s looking back at Queen’s House.  We’ll pick it up from here on the next post . . . ]

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England swings like a pendulum do, bobbies on bicycles, two by two, Westminster Abbey, the Tower Big Ben, the rosy red cheeks of the little children.  ~  Roger Miller

Up Next:  Next Part . . .

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