First, we woke up to the news about Nice. Gave me chills and made me so sad. Sean and Carly were in Paris celebrating Bastille Day watching fireworks in the square. It could have been Paris. It could have been them. It was someone’s children, parents, siblings. So very horrible.
Greenwich was lovely, so much quieter than London but perfect for us. We stayed in Greenwich for the morning, climbing the hill to the Prime Meridian. Probably not a bad hill but Florida has spoiled us. We see hills and stairs and ask ourselves, “Do we really want to see this?” And seeing moms pushing strollers and old women with canes heading up hills with little effort, it’s pretty embarrassing to go huffing and puffing up hills but we do it.
Two things about the Royal Observatory. First, it was fascinating to learn about efforts to make clocks that would keep precise time and their relationship to navigation (which I only vaguely understand). Next (and this is for my turtle patrol friends), the GPS app we’re using to mark nests is darn close. I used it at the prime meridian and was amazed at how good it was. Check it out.
We we also toured the Cutty Sark before we took a fast boat into London. Pretty impressive. It went a whopping 20 miles an hour and was the fastest clipper in its day. We toured it with at least ten thousand fourth graders who raced around in their school uniforms shouting to their friends whenever they found something cool I’m turning into a cranky old lady…
The fast boat into London was thoroughly enjoyable. We docked at the London Eye and changed our minds three times on what we wanted to do after lunch. I wanted to see Buckingham Palace. We were also interested in the National Portrait Gallery. But the clear winner was Parliament (partly because it was the closest and it was already 3:00) It turned out to be fascinating. In the House of Commons they were debating (discussing, really) a report on the Iraq War. MPs spoke for ten minutes each (and not one minute more…there was a countdown clock) noting parts of the report that bothered them the most…that Tony Blair led them into war on very vague information that turned out not to be true, that the troops were not given proper equipment, that the returning veterans were not being well cared for, that it was a huge mistake for them to join the Americans in something so poorly thought out. One MP that bears watching was Clive Little. A veteran of the war in Afghanistan, pacifist, former TV news anchor, powerful speaker…amazing man.
Today is a travel day and so far so good. The train into the center of London and another to Euston Station to get another train to Holyhead in Wales for the ferry to Dublin. And of course we’re dragging big heavy suitcases. Jerry swears that NEXT trip we are traveling light sean and Carly got every thing they needed into carry on bags and backpacks. Yes, next time we’ll do better.
Ferry ride is lovely I went up to the observation deck…lasted about two minutes. Brrr. But there are comfortable chairs, plenty to eat and drink and huge windows. What’s not to love?
What wasn’t wonderful was the wait for a taxi after we disembarked. And to make it worse, I wasn’t feeling well…too much ice cream on the ship??? But at least it wasn’t raining and we had a great taxi driver who made us laugh all the way to the hotel.
Sunset after 10:00pm It’s 8:30 now and looks like the middle of the day.
Love to all