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Friday, January 9, 2015

Greenwich, London: A Photo Diary

I don't usually post photo diaries, because - while I love reading them on other blogs - they feel like a cop-out for me not to let my creative energy flow. But it's been almost a year since I visited Greenwich in London and I have tried to write about it multiple times already, but I just can't quite seem to put my love for this place into words. So, pictures will have to do! Greenwich seems very different from other parts of London and, frankly, every other place I have visited in the UK, yet there was something decidedly British about it that absolutely fell in love with. It reminded me of a time of exploration and discovery, a time when Great Britain was regarded as the greatest sea-faring nation in the world and a time in history that I find very fascinating.

Yet, Greenwich was never high on my list of things to do and see in London and if it hadn't been for my boyfriend who had visited a few months earlier and recommended it to me, I may never have gone at all. Greenwich isn't the most touristy of all London sights, at least not if you compare it to the likes of the Tower of London, and I'm assuming that it's mainly because it's a bit farther away from the city centre then some of the other classic London sights. It can't be for lack of beauty or cultural value, though, because Greenwich was definitely one of the nicest neighborhoods in London I ever went on a walk in.

The area's most iconic sight is probably the Old Royal Naval College. It's a stunning baroque building that in the course of time served as a hospital and a training ground for the Royal Navy and now houses the University of Greenwich. I know, I wish my university looked that pretty as well!

On the day I was visiting - a very uncharacteristically nice day for February - there was also a filming crew that worked on some sort of historic piece and every once in a while some person with a walkie-talkie would yell at you to please wait a second before walking as to not end up on tape in the 19th century. I never found out what they filmed, but due to the size of the set and the ridiculous amount of actors in top-hats, I'm assuming it must have been a bigger production.

I also quickly went into the Royal Maritime Museum which had a couple of interesting permanent exhibitions that made me want to re-watch Pirates of the Caribbean, before I headed to the one thing that arguably has made Greenwich into a household name all over the world: The Royal Observatory or rather the Prime Meridian.

I didn't feel like paying £ 7,50 just to take a picture of a line, though, (I'm exaggerating, there is probably other stuff to see in the Obeservatory as well) and so I opted to go for a walk in the beautiful park instead. It was way too nice a day to spend indoors anyway and so I didn't feel particularly uncultured for choosing nature over science.

On my way back to the Tube, I crossed the Old Royal Navy College again and noticing that the film crews seemed to have taken a break, I took advantage of the situation to snoop around the parts of the College that I had missed out on before.

Greenwich may not be one of those Must-See-locations in London, at least not on a first visit, but I do believe that if you find yourself with the wish to see a different side of the city and a different side of the country, you should make it a point to head over for a couple of hours the next time you're in London.

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