The Tower & Greenwich
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These two places are not really related, except that the river boats that take passengers to Greenwich usually make a stop at a dock near The Tower of London.  Also, I had no other logical place to include my second tour of the Tower (the first was in 1997), so here it is.  The Tower of London has been the setting for many great events during its 900-year history as a royal palace and fortress, prison and place of execution, arsenal, mint, menagerie and jewel house.  The White Tower" was completed by the year 1100.  King Henry VI and two princes were murdered here in in Fifteenth Century, and two of Henry VIII's wives were executed  here a century later. The Tower of London is best known today as the repository of the Crown Jewels.  Here are a few photos I took.  (They don't let you take photos of the Crown Jewels.  No samples are given out either.)

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A nice picture I took of the nearby Tower Bridge just after sunset.

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Now, it's time to head for Greenwich.

Greenwich is a borough of London.  It is best known as being the world time standard (all the world's time zones are specified as so many hours plus or minus Greenwich mean Time - GMT).  Greenwich is also the place where line separating the Eastern and Western Hemispheres is located.  (Tourists like to have their pictures taken standing on that line.)  The town has another claim to fame.  King Henry Vlll, and his daughters, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth l, were all born here. I took a tour that left central London by boat.  We traveled along the Thames River for about 45 minutes before arriving at Greenwich.

The former Royal Naval College is the great baroque masterpiece of English architecture.  It is set in landscaped grounds on the River Thames in the center of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site  The UNESCO designation recognizes the site as being of "outstanding universal value", as Greenwich comprises the finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles.

Here is an aerial view of the grounds, followed by the photos I took there, whilst getting sunburned on a bright, sunny day.  (If anyone had told me a person could ever get sunburned in England, I would have considered them crazy.)

 

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Inside one of the buildings is The Painted Hall, probably the finest dining hall in the Western world. It is decorated with stunning paintings by James Thornhill, and is part of  King William Court.  Here is a photo from a web site.

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The famous Royal Observatory, up on a hill.  The ball drops at exactly 11:00 am every day.

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Some scenes in downtown Greenwich.  A flea market, the city park, and a street and entrance to a museum.

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The famous Cutty Sark.  The last surviving tea-clipper restored to its former glory is now in permanent dry-dock on the banks of the River Thames at Greenwich.

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After looking around town a bit, and having an ice cream, I took the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) back to a part of central London I was not familiar with.  This was my first ride on this railway, and when I got off at Canary Wharf Station, I had an interesting time finding the nearest underground (subway) station to take me back back to the vicinity of my hotel.

 

Anyone ready for a ride on the world's tallest Observation Wheel?  Let's go!

 

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