Back Along the Thames to Greenwich.

What ho, folks!

I’ve been all week in London on business: two conference speeches; interviews, business lunches – all as per the norm. Also as per the norm – a little sightseeing fitted in for good measure. Just the other day I was real lucky that all the work for the day was to be completed before lunch, leaving the rest of the day for recreation. So that morning I donned the trusty ‘smart’ jeans, put my sneakers in my bag for changing into from my office shoes, and out we headed after the obligatory Full English :).

The morning’s work I mentioned consisted of a presentation given at Cloud Expo Europe. This was held in the enormous ExCel London, here, which I soon discovered was not far from the Thames, my fave river :). So it was Thames-wards we – my travel companion A. Sh. and I – headed after the conference…

From the exhibition hall it’s just five minutes’ walk to the Emirates Air Line cable car link that crosses the Thames – the one A.B. and I saw but didn’t have time for just the other week. So glad we had time this week as a short ride on it is just awesome. Highly recommended – if the sun’s out, like it was for us.

After that glamorous aerial installment, it was back down to earth (both literally and figuratively) for a repeat viewing of the abandoned industrial ugliness along the riverbank en route to Greenwich.

Some of the street names here are highly illustrative of former British industrialization and sea power. Examples: Ballast QuayCrane Street and Crews Street: no doubt aptly titled – a couple of centuries ago. Personally, I always imagined a darker underbelly of all that industrial prowess: drunken sailors, greasy spoons, loose women, dirty children, bad stenches and all that. I guess Wasted Crew Street or Stinky Quay might not have imparted the required visions of national grandeur and prestige…


…Back to more positive things… Here we are at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich (have a read of the (looooong and) impressive history of this place, if only @ the Wikipedia link – not forgetting to take off your hat as a sign of respect:).

The view from the observatory:


The world’s first telescope was constructed… in a well! Right here:


Budding astronomers study the remains of William Herschel‘s 40-foot telescope:

And a visit to Greenwich wouldn’t be complete of course without a pic of the prime meridian!…

Assorted ancient devices for observing the heavens:

All this outer-space-watching kit reminded me of my recent trip to the observatories on Tenerife, where things are a little less analog and a lot more digital :).

It also got me thinking: ‘Innovation always pays’:

Back in the 17th century Britain’s astronomy was made up of never-done-before pioneering research. But perhaps in return for such pioneering efforts, Britain – it seems to me – first came up with the technical ability to determine one’s precise location upon the world’s oceans. This helped see the British Empire spread out across the oceans to cover the whole globe. So, like I say – innovation always pays, IMHO. (Now, I’m no expert on the history of seafaring navigation but, again I wondered, were things really like that back in pre-Industrial Revolution days?)

And on that curious note, I sign off from Greenwich. One more vista from the hill, and it was back to the Thames:

And back to the Cutty Sark. Déjà vu again!…


Next up was a further installment of strolling along the Thames. But more on that in the next post…

All the photos from Greenwich are here.

Back soon folks!…

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