London’s last contribution to this migrating Englisher was to teach me the 24 hour clock. It was so fitting to set the depart time of my BOAC Comet IV Jetliner at 1515. Yes - 50 years later I still know exactly what time we departed LHR. I asked dad what time 1515 was. He told me I had all the flight to Australia to figure it out and if I couldn’t he would tell me in Melbourne.
So where should I pilgrimage on my one day in London?
We boarded the boat and took a seat on the roof for the 90 minute trip along the Thames. This is a great way to see the city and we did see all the main highlights visible from the river. The crew member who drew the short straw to make today’s commentary was excellent and very entertaining. His stories really brought the city to life. He really knew his stuff and told tales about everything we passed.
I think London must be a tour guide’s friend. There are not many gaps to ad lib. The city’s history goes back so far that there is a story at every corner.
So much history literally waiting to be tripped over. That must make great fodder for the tour commentator.
Now I need to admit a crime at this time.
We went into the gift shop… you have to right!
At the back of the gift shop is a stair to view a telescope. It was an open, sign-posted door to another exhibit and I wandered through it up to the telescope. I wandered all about following the only track available at the time, arrows this way and keep out signs that way. I finally emerged in the actual gardens. I had not paid a fee. I was not asked for a ticket. I was just there, inside, behind the paywall. I am still not sure how I got there but it happened. It was unintentional, honest! We did however find some less scrupulous people who seemed to know it was a way in and were intentionally using it. We went back to the gift shop and then on our way back to town.
Greenwich was a major joy for me. I loved it all.
I have already written far too much about the other side of London so I will leave it there. The river trip and the time in Greenwich was a fantastic way to pass a day.