Up and out for a run. The graffiti said, “no smiling” and “no sarcasm”, well now that doesn’t leave me with much, does it? There were a few sprinkles, but as I’ve heard, it’s only water. I went along the canal in the other direction from where I had gone previously and ended up at Camden Locks with all sorts of distracting things to look at, including a building that looked rather airstreamish. Back at the flat I had a multi-cultural breakfast of skyr and crumpets FTW.
My Aunt arrived for the day’s excursion and we were off to Greenwich! Yes, in the mean time… We took the tube to Embankment, and then the River Bus. Although I never completely got my bearings in London, I was pretty sure which way was down river, but once we were in the boat we headed the other way. ?! Ah, just a brief jog over to the Eye, which was the end of West Bound, then we turned around and went the way I’d originally thought we would.
It was neat to see the city from the river, and all the activity on the river. At one stop the boat backed in, at another spot on the river we had to go around a barge. As we got to the last couple of stops before Greenwich the crew asked if anyone wanted to get off at them – nope, everyone was going to Greenwich – so they just slowed as they went by the pier and yelled – no one said they wanted to get on so the boat went by. There was a family behind sitting behind us, the kids went to the snack bar and got a gingerbread man – one gave the other the head – and an
Americano for the parents, reporting, “they put water in it.” My Aunt pointed out various sights along the way – the new skyscrapers all seem to have some loosely descriptive and not particularly complimentary nick-name: Gherkin, Cheesegrater, Walkie Talkie.
When we alighted at Greenwich (seemed like what one does when arriving at places in England) it was overcast but dry, as the day progressed the overcast broke up to lovely puffy clouds. We walked up the hill to the Royal Observatory. The Thing to check off The List was the Prime Meridian, which I did, in spite of, or perhaps because of the arbitrariness of it. Of course it goes on beyond the fence, but people were just taking pictures inside the fence where they had it marked.
The museum was a nice manageable size, and not too busy. I enjoyed looking through the residence and seeing the octagon room designed by Wren. There were cool displays on the importance of time and the clocks were amazing – not just useful but beautiful! I also went up in the actual observatory to have a gander at the telescope.
Then it was back down the hill to lunch at the cafe at the National Maritime Museum. We enjoyed sitting outside on the patio by the giant ship in a bottle. From there we set a meeting time and place and each of us set off to visit the Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark on our own schedules. The Museum was really well done – you could spend a while if you read everything, but possible it was possible to cruise through and get a good sense of it all, and I think just about everyone would be able to find something intriguing, even if they weren’t particularly interested in naval matters.
Then ice cream happened on the way to the Cutty Sark. And then there was the Cutty Sark, which was visually fascinating and I took about a bazillion pictures. There was not quite as much information as at the museum, but I was kinda over that by that point in the day. They did have embossing stamp stations, I’m guessing some sort of passport dealio, which I didn’t look into, but I remembered I had blank end pages on my notebook so I used those – there was a ship, and a tea pot and cup, and a wool jumper – commemorating the days it carried wool, and so on.
As I’d been bringing up the rear at the Observatory, I figured everyone else was going to be ready to go from these locations as well, but turned out they weren’t, so I wandered around town a bit – I hadn’t looked up ice cream, but had seen somewhere a mention of something which sounded intriguing but I couldn’t quite remember the name.
It turned out that I just missed it, going left instead of right on my way out, but ended up in the market, which was mildly entertaining, although not much was going on since it was a weekday. I saw someone with ice cream and asked them where they got it. hmn It was not a specific ice cream place but a place with ice cream. I then asked at a book shop – I know, talking to people! – they knew of Ben and Jerry’s close by (nope) then the place that had previously been mentioned and I’d seen – not an ice cream shop but a shop with ice cream. Oh well.
So I ended up going in to a coffee place and getting a coffee. There didn’t seem to be as much price difference between regular coffee and coffee drinks as there is in the US. Innersting. Then when I was walking back to meet the crew OH! there’s the place – no masthead sign, just a small one on the wall by the door. Black Vanilla. How could I not remember that?! and… open Weds – Sun. Today was Monday. Sad trombone.
We took the light rail back. It had more side to side sway but was not quite as bumpy as the underground. It was crowded, but we got in and towards the doors on the side that weren’t on the platform side at any of the next stations so didn’t have to move, and then got to a station where lots of people got off.
On the way from the station back to the flat we stopped for ice cream! I know, double dipping. sshhhhh! We sat down for table service, which apparently got you wafers, even in a cone. And we still made it back for the pre-game in the Iceland vs. England football/soccer match. WCN wondered about taking his Icelandic flag out to a pub with the game on.
It turned out to be quite the match. There was a penalty kick from England, then Iceland scored back in less than 10 minutes. WCN said, “I need a paper bag.” (to breathe into.) Then Iceland had another goal, making it 2-1 at halftime.
The English commentator was incredulous to be behind. “It would be most ignominious loss…” They pointed out what a small country Iceland was – that 8% of Iceland had bought tickets to the match – if England did that it would be 4.2 million people! Well, size isn’t everything. Iceland manage to hold them, even through 3 minutes of stoppage time. After the final whistle the English team was just lying on the ground, stunned. We heard someone outside on the street yell Iceland a couple of times.
And from the Bottle Apostle: Siren Craft Brew Vanilla Berliner Weisse – Weisse Weisse Baby! This is a sour beer for those with a sweet tooth. We’ve dry hopped with Equinox, Enigma and 4 kg of vanilla pods for a completely new twist on the Berliner Weisse: think refreshing tart fruit and luscious vanilla ice cream. hmn, not so much the vanilla, but nice refreshing tart part.
June 27, 2016