Today was a bit of a red letter day, as Charles Pooter would probably have remarked. For ages now (well, for as long as I’ve known it existed) I’ve wanted to visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. And today I did just that!
Such an amazing place. And so many boats. And Mirinda wasn’t even that bored.
At first, it didn’t look like being a particularly nice day but, following our double Skype (once to mum and once to Fi), the sky blue-d up and the sun came out. We cheerfully made our way down to the ferry stop.
Being a Sunday, we figured there’d not be too many people aboard. That was wrong on so many counts. It’s a Sunday, the weather is good, it’s school holidays, it’s summer…that’s just a few of them. Things were so bad, we couldn’t see hide nor hair of the gunnels.
Still, after a bit of annoyed gesturing, we managed to sit down next to a chap reading his newspaper.
There was a lot of tourists on the ferry, most of whom were going to Greenwich with us. We all made a giant human traffic jam trying to make our way ashore. Eventually we all spat out the end like a swollen cheap champagne cork. So invigorating.
As we approached something called The Greenwich Experience, Mirinda asked whether I’d like to see it. She often tries to trick me like that. But I know how to foil her sneaky traps.
I asked her if the time allowed for visiting the National Maritime Museum would be reduced upon the inclusion of any subsequent museum. She said yes. So I said no. It was the National Maritime Museum and nothing else for me.
On approaching the museum, in case a person missed the signs and wondered where they were, the giant anchors either side of the door were a bit of a give-away.
Wouldn’t want to have to winch one of those up with a wooden handle.
Inside we were surrounded by boats, ships and other maritime paraphernalia. I’m not going to bore you with too much about it, however, I’d just like to tell you about Prince Frederick’s barge.
This was built, in 1732, for the eldest son of George II, Frederick, Prince of Wales. The gold is all real.
After Fred died, successive monarchs used it for jaunts on the river until about 1850 when she was sawn into three bits and chucked in a store room.
Around 100 years later, she was given to the museum who put her back together again and put signs around her asking the public not to touch. Most of the public I saw ignored these signs.
It’s quite ornate and not really to my taste. When we get a boat, it will not be covered in gold.
After an hour of wandering (not so) aimlessly around, we met up at Paul for delicious Parisian style baguettes, macaroons and coffee before posing on the Great Map.
We then headed out to Greenwich Park for a wander. One of the places we’ve often considered as a possible place to live in the City is Greenwich but we’ve never really investigated it properly. Well, we did today.
Up and down the hills, around the back streets, through the Queen’s Orchard where the gardener didn’t know the name of a plant I rather liked and, eventually into a pub.
Having travelled in by ferry, we decided to make it a bit of a circle and returned by the DLR.
We tumbled into the flat pretty much exhausted. A great day.