A trip to Greenwich
Greenwich being a southeastern town of greater London has lots of things to present for the visitors. The prime meridian line dividing the globe into the eastern and western hemisphere, the royal observatory house, the royal park, the canary wharf view, the museums, Cutty Sark, the river cruise, the O2, the cable car and so on-- things are closely located, thereby making it possible for the visitors to have a good day-trip in Greenwich.
THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY AND THE PRIME MERIDIAN
How would you feel when you put your two feet in two hemispheres of the world simultaneously? People interested in geography would be much more excited to experience it. We grew up hearing and reading about London having the prime meridian line through Greenwich. The prime meridian, the line that divides the earth into western and eastern hemispheres, is important for the determination of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT 0), as international time zones are based on it.
The prime meridian also helps to find out any exact location on the world sphere. These make the spot so interesting for tourists.
Situated on a hill, the royal observatory is an octagonal house on the prime meridian line. It is also the place from where navigation and astronomical tasks were done in the past.
As the dusk falls, the royal observatory emits the colourful laser beam of the prime meridian making it visible for the Londoners.
The breathtaking view of the canary wharf across the river Thames can be seen from the royal observatory yard as the yard is situated more than 150 feet above the ground. The vast Greenwich Park, the Greenwich University, the museums and tall skyscrapers altogether make a majestic view to behold.
There are 8 royal parks in London of which the Greenwich Royal Park is the oldest one. Next to the National Maritime Museum, the royal park is of about 75 hectors with vast greenery. Beautiful fallow and red deer are spotted if roamed around well. The best scene can be overlooked from the royal observatory yard.
Cutty Sark is the world's lone surviving clipper ship that used to mainly commute from Britain to China to fetch tea for the British. It was also the fastest ship of her time. Now the ship is placed on terra firma as a tourist attraction at bank of the River Thames.
Once entering the ship, tourists get to see the strong vast hull, plank and mast of the old ship, still great source of enormous beauty. It also comes as a surprise to see such a beautiful and strong ship and know it was built so long ago, in 1869.
With the Cutty Sark at the centre, the closer locations have also been built up developed with a merry-go-round for the children, a Ferris wheel and a cruise ship dockyard. The cruise is from the Greenwich pier to the Westminster pier, and is an experience worth having as the cool breeze blows soothingly, and small waves pound on the ship, creating a peaceful ambience.
The Emirates Cable Car in the town is a must for those who have yet to try it out. To get a unique view of London, as the service advertises, hop on it from the Greenwich peninsula station. It gives you a ten minutes' ride with a bird's eye view of the town. Try to avoid it at peak hours as then the ride is cut short to 5 minutes.
Every gondola can accommodate a maximum of 10 people. So riding the carat off-peak hour gives you a double-bonus of a crowd-less and longer gliding experience. It is suggested that you ride it when dusk is falling, as this time the service is enhanced with cool music and videos on board and the colourful city lights in the dark make for the best vistas.
THE O2 ARENA
Located in the Greenwich peninsula, another spot to be seen is the O2 Arena which is an indoor multipurpose theatre. Famous for many Olympics having taken place here, this is the busiest arena in the country. More than 20,000 people can be accommodated inside it in terms of seating capacity. The name is borrowed from the sponsor mobile telecommunication company O2.
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
National Maritime Museum is a good spot to visit if you are interested in sea and maritime history. This is the largest maritime museum in the world, and has vast collections objects and arts of many adventures, sea battles and discoveries around the world. There are in total 10 galleries, a souvenir shop and a café in the museum. The Museum is just at the corner of the Greenwich Park and is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Even though England has undergone lots of wars and topographical trauma, this 16th century architectural masterpiece has not disappeared. Commonly known as the queen's house, it is the royal residence of two queens from the 16th century. Today it is a comparatively small palace in size, as we see it now, but could be a great place to be as it houses 22 rooms with lots of eye-catching art and decor. The Great Hall's ceiling is made of gold and the swirling stairs are the most interesting to see.
Photo courtesy: Samiul Raijul