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30
Sep-2010

Greenwich – Sept 30th

Karen   /  

We’re in serious pack-up mode with only 1 week to go! We arranged for 35kg of acquired stuff to be shipped back to Melbourne this morning. Karen saved us 200 pounds on the Royal Mail cost by doing a bit of research on the web. We’re using a company that specializes in excess baggage shipments. It will take 8 weeks for our stuff to arrive home.

As we had a late start we set off for the bus not 100% sure whether it was going to be Greenwich or the Globe theatre. We settled on Greenwich as the boys were so keen on going. Greenwich turned out to be a very interesting place. It took an epic amount of time to get there however – about 2 hours I think! – via many changes of tube and bus. Tim got us there eventually as he always does.

The National Maritime Museum was our first port of call (forgive the pun). It had some really nifty things for the kids to do such as making a boat sail in front of a hairdryer device, lifting up cargo onto a boat, and a simulation of driving a big ship. Nelson’s naval uniform (complete with the bullet hole that killed him), and many displays of boats and explorers added to the interest. Caleb amazed me today, remembering that the little replica ship we spent 5 mins on that lay next to the SS Great Britain in Bristol, was the same ship that there was a movie piece on at Greenwich (the ship was called Matthew, but I can’t remember why it was significant. Caleb probably can!).

Some of us then galloped up the hill to the observatory. I walked. The observatory housed a planetarium, dubbed ‘the worst one in London’ by Josh instead of ‘the only one in London’ by its advertisers, as it did not have anything interesting on for children. We then did the touristy thing at the Prime Meridian at 0 degrees longitude. We stood with one foot in the east hemisphere, and one foot in the west.

The displays in the museum of the four timepieces that Harrison used to calculate longitude were fascinating. I would have been less interested I’m sure had I not seen the movie ‘Longitude’ and therefore appreciated their significance. I tried to explain them to the kids, but I think it was just a bit tricky for them to grasp. Caleb and Daniel were instead captivated by the idea of the shipwrecks that occurred before the longitude was calculated.

On the way out, we passed by a movie set where they were shooting ‘Pirates of the Carribean 4’. Johnny Depp was standing on a platform way above our heads.

We took a Thames cruise to get back to our bus. This was great, as Josh had been wanting to see London Bridge all trip after reading about how it was pulled down by the Saxons. The bridge itself was a let-down, Tower Bridge being much more impressive. Home to pasta yet again tonight as we try to consume all the past we have in our van! Josh and Caleb are very pleased.

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