h1 July 5th, 2006

Had Tim come over from Germany for the weekend at the start of June. Spent a lovely early summer sunday down at Greenwich around the Maritime Museum, Old Naval College, Park, Observatory and standing either side of the Prime Meridian going “I’m East!”, “You’re West!”. Hours of fun. And we got to catch the District Light Rail which is really just a glorified tram line, reminded me of home.

We picked a random direction after coming out of the tube station and soon came across the Cutty Sark, yet another old ship which has been preserved. So I had to take a photo.

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From there we found some of those useful signs which point the way to where you want to go so were soon heading towards the Greenwich Observatory which was the goal of the trip. On the way we found various items of interest. Outside the Maritime Museum was a Harrier Jump Jet to mark its decommissioning later this year.
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Was also various anchors and lifeboats and more maritime stuff. In the background is the Museum itself and The Queen’s House. She doesn’t live there.

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You go through the archway and get your first glimpse of Greenwich Park. As it was a lovely summers day all the local lads were out with the shirts off running around and trying to look buff. It doesn’t generally work. You can see the observatory on top of the hill and tell that it’s not 1pm because the ball is at the bottom of the pole. Of course!

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Around the corner was a statue of our beloved discoverer (well, if you don’t count the Dutch, or the native inhabitants) posing heroically. This was to prove most inspiring later on.

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Up the top of the hill looking back towards the river. This gives one of the best views of London, albeit from quite a distance. You can see the city itself, Canary Wharf (or Torchwood Tower to those in the know) and the Millenium Dome all at once.

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And after a long slog we finally had finally found our way to Greenwich Observatory. Here you can find out what the time is, how long things are and how high you are above sea level. Below you can see a small child being measured.

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And here we have it, the main attraction, a line in the ground that bisects the hemispheres evenly. On the wall behind you can see a red line which marks where a laser is also shot out of the wall to mark it. On the left is some form of modern art which is there purely for people to queue up in front of and have their photo taken on the line.

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However these people don’t seem to notice the fact that the line continues behind the sculpture (as you’d expect) and that there is no line for getting your photo taken behind it.

And here we have it, the climax of the trip.

Young Timothy Heroically bestriding the hemispheres.
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And my good self doing the same.
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Now we just need to find a way of getting ourselves here or here and get photos with a separate limb in each of the four hemispheres. Shouldn’t be too hard.
The observatory itself was also very interesting. They had the four timekeepers what Harrison made when he was solving the Longitude Problem. Not replicas but the actual clocks he made. There’s also an old observing room which is one of the few remaining internal examples of Christopher Wren architecture in London.

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