Thursday, 17 April 2014

London & Holland April 2014 Day 2

Monty the Motorhome is still at Abbey Wood and looking forward to departing tomorrow for Holland.

After our late night yesterday we were still up early and met up with the children at Greenwich, with fairly undecided intentions about what to do for the day. There is just so much in this area. In the end we decided on the Royal Observatory to start with. The actual building in up on a hill, overlooking Greenwich and the Thames. Great views from the top, right back into London. We arrived shortly before 1300hrs, so were there to see the Time ball drop. This daily event dates back to the days when sailing ships needed to synchronise their clocks. The ball would be raised on its pole just before 1300hrs, then dropped precisely on the hour. This custom has been retained for the tourist trade and it is certainly popular, with cameras at the ready just before the appointed hour. 

Ball raised
Ball dropped
Greenwich is famous for the prime meridian and we duly queued up to take the photos standing astride East and West.

Lunch was taken at the Observatory Cafe. Lamb Rogan Josh stew all round. Really tasty, but not much for the price.

Then on to The Queen’s House and the Royal Naval College. The latter is now part of Greenwich University, as the navy moved on in 1998. Both are beautiful buildings, designed by Wren and very photogenic. We dallied in the Painted Hall and Chapel at the old College, marvelling at the painted ceiling in the former.

Feeling in need of refreshment, as well as wanting to kill a bit of time, we went to The Old Brewery - again part of the old College. The place still brews beer and did a taster selection of brews in thirds of a pint - four served on a wooden platter.

Then on to the O2 for the main highlight of the day, at least as far as Ruth and Rachael were concerned. Gary Barlow in concert.

James and I had a bit of a walk along the Thames towpath, almost as far as the Thames Barrier. Really quiet and quite eerie. Looks like a good path for cycling. Then on to Tayyabs Curry House in Whitechapel. This place features in various guides to the best curry in London and as soon as we got there it was apparent that it was popular. I have never seen a curry house so packed, noisy and vibrant - totally unexpected as it was a Sunday night and tucked away down a side street. The food was excellent, but we were just too cramped and could hear ourselves speak.

So back to the O2 to meet Ruth and Rachael, who came out with stars in their eyes. GB certainly seems to have worked his magic on them.

A very crowded bus and train journey back to the campsite concluded the day, with us getting to bed just after midnight.

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