Day 6, Thursday January 10th, Greenwich
(Mark is the author of this page and the next.)
We started off the day with Monica going to work and Genevieve and Mark heading down to breakfast. The breakfast at the hotel in Guildford was not as fancy as the Thistle, but still very filling. The staff were very helpful in making sure Genevieve had enough food to throw onto the floor. After reviewing the options for the day, I thought it would be fun go to Greenwich, which is just downstream from London on the river Thames. This involved taking the train back to London first.
After dressing up Genevieve in her cold weather gear and packing up a day’s supply of baby needs, we left the hotel walking in the direction of the town center. I originally intended to take a taxi to the train station, but it was such a nice day that we just started strolling along. We walked all the way down Guildford’s High Street until we reached Guildford’s river. Along the way I did some window shopping, but did not go into any stores, except for a Dixon’s to buy a disposable camera. (I could not bring my digital SLR and all the baby stuff by myself.) At this point we discovered that we were very close to the train station so we just walked the rest of the way.
The next train for London left 10 minutes after we arrived, so we did not have to wait very long. The train originated in Guildford, so there was no problem getting the stroller collapsed and Genevieve loaded onto the train. Genevieve sat in her own seat for most of the trip to London and enjoyed interacting with the other passengers.
After arriving at the Waterloo train station in London, we walked across the river to Westminster where the river ferries are. We bought tickets for the boat trip down to Greenwich and immediately boarded a departing boat. The sun was shining so Genevieve was able to ride on the open-air top deck. She loved being able to cruise around from bench to bench and look outside the boat. It was a very pleasant journey of about 45 minutes on the boat. There was much to see from the boat, including old maritime pubs, the old canal system, and the modern portion of London.
We finally arrived in Greenwich shortly before noon. Greenwich is known as a maritime town, with the old Navy academy and some old ships docked. It has a “salty” feel to it, with old buildings and pubs. The old Navy academy is now used as a university and a music conservatory. We were able to catch part of an opera rehearsal, which I really enjoyed and Genevieve tried to add her voice on occasion. After the opera we went to the maritime museum, which is very extensive. We spent some time there and then decided to go for lunch.
I found a large pub in the upper part of town where we were given a whole room to ourselves. Ostensibly, this was the non-smoking room. The whole pub was very nicely decorated and “our room” had some nice paintings of the sea. Genevieve got some peas and chips, two of her favorite foods, and I had a traditional chicken pie. The pie was delicious, full of goodies, and Genevieve enjoyed it too!
After the pub lunch we walked up to see the Observatory where Greenwich Mean Time is kept. We didn’t go in, but we did enjoy walking around the park that surrounds the Observatory. Finally, we headed back to the docks to catch the 4pm ferry back to London and then the train back to Guildford.
We boarded the train around 5:25 and it was even more crowded than the rush hour train the day before. Once again, an English fellow came to our rescue and gave us a seat and helped stow the stroller. Thank you whomever you are! Genevieve dozed a bit on the train and we departed without incident at Guildford.
We took a cab back to the hotel, where Monica left a note that she would be joining her colleagues for dinner. G and I went to the Sainsbury on High Street to get our “take home” dinner and retired for the evening.