Britain. Greenwich for all
The trouble with many visitors to London is that, having crushed each other’s feet in the Tate gallery, at Westminster and big Ben, they imagine that they have already seen all the fun. This is a mass delusion – happiness for the town of Greenwich: how many thousands of stupid tourists he managed to avoid in this way. London is not obvious, the provincial and dearly loved the following story.
Jack Pitman, the character of the novel by Julian Barnes “England, England”, which it dawned to collect on a single island all the material symbols of the United Kingdom, was extremely ambitious and active. Whether these qualities of the character of sir Jack not as well developed, he may, before the incarnation of the idea would think of the Greenwich area, where compact and in perfect harmony already exists all nuenglish, and the second time to work would be lazy.
The beauty of this place (a town so tiny that it is more honest to call it just a London suburb) is that none of the local attractions are not sucked out of the finger and is not such only in the imagination of the locals. Almost everything that is entertaining in Greenwich, is included in the list of full-fledged English places worth seeing, listed in solid guides. These were Alitalia enough before my first visit to the UK. As a rule, it does not go further than flipping – too quickly the body produces a strong reluctance to obey someone’s commands and go to places that “can not be visited”. So, even a RAID of naturkost and requirement Greenwich deprived at all. The word “must” is forgotten with the first gust of the local wind. If the wind is also spring and blows from the old Park, from the head is usually eroded and a lot of other, even useful information. Given this fact, before the next trip to London mentally run through your favorite Greenwich places quite useful.
27 thousand pounds under the Thames
Fall in Greenwich corny – from the city of London. But to diversify this route is quite humanly possible. There are several options. For rational travelers from Charing Cross station a direct train departs. Romantics can reach their destination in half an hour on a boat departing from Westminster or the tower. If fate has already thrown you into the London suburb of Lewisham, to get to Greenwich in ten minutes, you can generally by bus. Of course, in the red and two-story.
Finally, if by nature you are not an aesthete, but an extreme, there is the last, most exotic way to get to Greenwich – by a pedestrian tunnel under the Thames. Designed by sir Alexander Binney, it was opened in August 1902. 127 thousand pounds were spent with the noble purpose to enable laborers from South London to get to the docks on the opposite Bank of the river. You can easily assess the power of Victorian engineering now. Keep in mind that the elevators for the descent and ascent are open from seven in the morning to seven in the evening. However, this can not prevent the thrill seekers: at night the tunnel is not closed, and a mile under the Thames can be overcome at least three o’clock in the morning, using the stairs.
And just imagine: having trampled some hundred steps up, you rise from the bottom of the river and see the most beautiful woman in your life. Her name is Cutty Sark, and it is dedicated to her sculpture adorns the nose of the ship with the same name. Formally an exhibit of the Royal Maritime Museum (and in fact – a fabulous work of art) clipper Cutty Sark was built in 1869 with a rather prosaic purpose – to provide the British with first-class Chinese tea. The trouble was that the distance from China to the UK court overcame for many months; precious cargo during this time lost taste, aroma and the very right to be called tea. In such a situation, time was not only money, but also prestige. Especially reckless captains even arranged real “tea race”, competing, who from the Chinese port will deliver the tea of the new crop to fastidious Englishwomen faster.
Cutty Sark took part in these competitions more than once, and not unsuccessfully. But the real glory to the ship came in connection not with Chinese tea, but with Australian wool. From Sydney to London clipper got a record 77 days (the previous record was three months). By the way, his name, which is translated from the Scottish dialect as “short shirt”, the ship received thanks to one insidious heroine of the poem by Robert burns. Obviously, luring their victims, witch nanny sported it in such seductive clothes. The devastating effect of female beauty on the male psyche can be estimated by looking at the symbolizing Cutty Sark figure on the nose of the clipper– especially the cut of the shirt and the shape of nanny, the sculptor gave very vividly.
Greenwich for girls and boys
To develop the theme of the sea is certainly in the Royal Maritime Museum. The most remarkable thing about it is the absence of wolf-looking old ladies and enclosing all the fun stupid velvet ropes. Unfulfilled children’s dreams to touch, to climb, to blame, to look in all holes, to shoot from guns, to look in sleeves of a diving suit come true. In General, if next to you there are boys aged 8 to 80 years, it is better to leave them in the bowels of the Museum for two hours.
And go to some place for normal girls. For example, in the local very good art gallery with Vermeer or local fan Museum with an exhibition of thousands and one fan.
For girls, in which with school years not has died away interest to physics or astronomy, in Greenwich there is a separate pleasure – built in 1675 year Observatory. Through its courtyard and building passes the line of the zero Meridian, in fact, and glorified the town all over the world. His little secret Observatory staff reported in a whisper: in fact, this is the most famous zero Meridian is almost a mile from the declared place. Error in the calculations of colleagues found already modern mathematics.
You can forgive the British for deviating from the formal truth in one stunning collection of watches stored in the Observatory. Unlike pretending to be a jeweler, a sign of social difference of modern watches, their task is not to show off the fact that they are watches, and certainly not trite to show the time. The existence of each of these watch veterans is an elegant proof of the sophistication of the human mind, which in an attempt to create a perfectly working mechanism struggled with sea rolling, temperature, humidity and other natural dirty tricks. After you have heard enough stories about the inventor of the first marine chronometer John Harrison, visits to the Greenwich Observatory of Peter I and plenty of wind wheels telescopes, forces – I guarantee – will be a little. But it’s enough to walk to Greenwich Park and fall into the grass.
You can lie on the perfect English lawn with your eyes open, admiring the silhouettes of the city skyscrapers in the distance. If the day off and the weather is good, in the depths of the Park there is a chance to meet something unforgettable – for example, a wedding taking place in one of the buildings of the Royal naval school. And you can not look anywhere, do not think about anything, and just lazily enjoy the whole evening, which suddenly turned out to be at your disposal.
While away the time before dinner, you can eat spiritual food. Greenwich is an ideal place for lovers of second-hand shops. Located literally at every step, they lure customers with the same messages: “All for 1 pound.” Their own greed we should give without hesitation. Inside, among the piles of used or brand new, but for unknown reasons, discounted books come across the nicest little things. As, however, and at the Antiques fair held in Greenwich every weekend. When a search of rarities completely exhausted, drop to rummage through the marvelous junk, go to the nearest shop to the corner, where almost certainly find some kind of tavern. The main thing is to find free seats there. And eat and drink you can start with quite a light heart: bad Kabakov author of these lines in Greenwich is not met.