On Saturday morning we headed down to Greenwich. I had been before, but my husband had not and this was the one thing he said he wanted to do on our trip. In the ongoing theme of this trip that my memory is terrible, not only did I not really remember anything about Greenwich, what I did remember was apparently completely wrong. I have a vivid memory of standing on the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory in a grassy area. There is no indication of the line in a grassy area. It’s on a brick patio that seemed not at all familiar to me. I didn’t remember anything from the Royal Observatory museum either. I guess it’s good because it made it more interesting.
As you’ve probably gathered by now the Prime Meridian was founded at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and is the genesis of Greenwich Mean Time, which helped standardize time and navigation. The Royal Observatory in Greenwich was previously the home and workplace of the Royal Astronomer, but it has since moved elsewhere. Now it is just a museum.
In addition to the Royal Observatory Greenwich has an old Naval College and the British Maritime Museum. We walked around the grounds of both but didn’t go inside either. It’s also a cute little town with a small little market that we wandered through. In looking for off the beaten path things to do in London I stumbled on Goddard’s Pie and Mash shop, which has been in business in Greenwich since 1890. We went there for lunch and it was quite tasty. It almost made up for the terrible fish and chips I ate the day before.
We also discovered a footpath built under the Thames between Greenwich and Island Gardens that was built for dockworkers to get to work replacing an old ferry. We walked back and forth because I was curious and thought it would be fun to say that I had walked both over and under the Thames during our trip.
After lunch we headed back into London. At that point we had exhausted all the things we had specifically put on our itinerary for the trip. We eventually settled on the Museum of London, which I had very much enjoyed the last time I was there and that my husband had never been to. It’s free now aside from their special exhibit, which was not the case last time I was there. I still think it’s a neat little museum, but I also understood my husband’s point that if you know the basics of British history you’re not really going to learn anything.
Without any set plans for the evening I decided we should check out what was available from the TKTS booth and see another show. We settled on something called Murder Ballad, which had like the show we saw on Friday, had previously been off-Broadway. It only had middling reviews, but since it was only 90 minutes and we had to get up at 5 am to catch our flight we decided to go with it. Even though the theatre is in the West End, it’s not one of the grand theatres. It’s in a place called the Arts Theatre, a small 350 venue whose entrance and box office is actually in the middle of the Madd Hatter’s Cafe. The show itself is a musical about a love triangle that ends in a murder as the title would suggest. It was as the reviews indicated a sort of middling show, but I’m not sorry we went.
Prior to the show we tried to get dinner at a well-reviewed Indian restaurant nearby. One of the things on my list was to eat Indian food when we were in London. It didn’t work out as the restaurant literally had a line down the block and we didn’t have time to wait in it. We wound up eating at Wagamama’s instead. I tend to try and avoid chains when traveling, but since Wagamama’s is a London-based chain I enjoyed eating at when I lived there and their only existing location in the US is in Boston nowhere near me I don’t feel too bad. I don’t know whatever happened to the DC location that was supposed to open. Either it never did or it closed really quickly. It appears a New York location should be opening soon based on their website.
Sadly that concluded our too-short, but wonderful trip to London. We had to head out early on Sunday morning. Even though we left on time we got into Toronto 30 minutes late. Our connection was always going to be tight and with that 30 minutes gone Air Canada preemptively rebooked us on a flight back to Baltimore that left 4 hours later than our original flight. I was really not happy thinking I was going to have spend 4 extra hours in the airport. Luckily though we had no checked bags and were able to get through both Candian and US customs and the security checkpoint we had to go through fairly quickly. We basically ran to our original gate in hopes that we could get rebooked onto our original flight. I was slightly worried our seats might have been given to standby passengers, but happily everything worked out and we got home as originally planned.
It was great trip that reminded me of all the reasons I adore London. It made me wish that I could get there more often.