Sunday, January 9, 2011

A cold day in the sun (Visiting Greenwich Village)

Last Sunday has been one of these precious, very rare days when the usual London atmosphere of fog and clouds lifted for once and the sun came out.Reason enough for me to spend the day outside and in the green. Considering I quite know Wimbledon Common by now and made the resolution to get to know more of London than the southwest, I decided to go and explore.

The target was soon to be found: I already heard that Greenwich is a nice place, one of those various skyscraper-free suburbs / satelite towns with one of London's rare parks, where you can actually find some trees. Not to mention of course the planetarium at the "place where time and space start", the zero meridian.

Luckily, I could convince Gilles to join me, so we embarked from Embankment, literally, because we took the ferry across the thames to go to Greenwich. Sitting on the outer deck, with the cloudless sky above and the river's spray in our faces we drove along the London Eye, the city center, Canary Wharf and got some new viewpoints of the city. I think you can tell how much we enjoyed this from the pictures (those I'll upload later :D).

Having arrived in Greenwich, we went on a walk though the city first, quite nice, although it was of course crammed on a sunday. Still a quite urban area, with its small streets and old houses, with all the buzz going on and a marketplace right in the middle. Clearly a place for topurists and those with a better income. We also found a record- and a boardgame store, where we returned to later, because first we wanted to enjoy the sun where you can do that best, in the park.

So we got ourselves some coffee and went up through the well-kept park to the planetarium, which thrones on a hill, overlooking the city from the southeast. Quite a view from up there! We enriched it with the sandwiches we got "downstairs". The planetarium looked interesting and featured some special exhibitions, but of course was not free and on top of that: we would had to have gone inside. So no way! ;) Anyhow I set my mobile clock to official GMT manually (convenient enough for me) with help of the 24-h-clock and we walked on and saw the rest of the park, before we returned to the town to check out the boardgame and record stores.

The game store was the first one I've ever seen around here specialised in boardgames and didn't even have a very big selection (saw "Pandemic", "Settlers" of course, but no Dixit!). Funnily, the "Spiel des Jahres" (German game of the year-award)-Logo is used on British game boxes as well, without translation, seems to be quite famous. There was also a huge Carom-Table (Indian dexterity boardgame, I'd describe it as pool with checkers-tokens on a wooden board). I played only once in Germany, it was fun and required quite some skill. Anyways the players seemed to be way too absorbed, otherwise I'd have liked to give it another try.

The record store had a large selection of metal / rock / punk - vinyls, which meens "wow but useless" to me, lacking a record player and much money anyways. Still there were some nice CDs and I enjoyed flicking through the selection.

After that Gilles wanted to go home, so we took the train and after a small detour to the center (I can never resist taking photos of the city at night) I spend an easy evening. All in all a great day. I hope it won't be the last "Sun"day which lived up to its name in the near future!

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