Seventh Class Blog Post:
This morning we made our way to Greenwich on the Thames Clipper. It was fun to travel via a boat ride rather than the tube, bus, or coach (not that I do not love the tube). We got a great view of the Thames and the surrounding areas from another perspective. The boat was not too crowded – our group made up most of the passengers, but then again, I think that we were out and about a bit earlier than the rest of the London. I am constantly shocked about how “late” (relatively speaking, of course) things open and close. I am used to Honolulu where stores and businesses seem to be open for longer or even all day and night. Kapahulu Safeway comes to mind. My observation is that the city does not really wake up until 10 am. It’s so quiet, bar the workers making their way around London.
We stopped to look at the exterior of the Old Royal Naval College. There, we found a plaque commemorating the spot where the Tudor Palace used to stand. King Henry VII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I were all born there. I am forever in awe of the amazing things I stumble upon during my time here. I love the history and culture lurking around the corners here.
At the Old Royal Naval College, we walked by a film shoot, though we did not see or notice anyone famous. I heard rumors that Sacha Baron Cohen was lurking around in a green football jersey, so we peeked around, but alas, we had no celebrity sighting that day. I speculate that they were filming for a movie called Grimsby. Who knows?
We grabbed some coffee before heading to the National Maritime Museum. We had a nice presentation of some of the archive’s treasures. They have some great ship’s logs that document various seamen’s accounts of life on the water. One of the logs by a man named Sandown was about a ship involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, so the information is definitely useful to learning more about that particular time of history.
One of my favorite objects is a replicated letter that Admiral Nelson wrote and posted on his door that boasted about his ability to command his crew and about their undying allegiance. It seems like self-generated propaganda, but as someone who dominated in the Battle of Trafalgar, I guess he earned the right to brag about all things naval.
We toured the Caird Library within the museum. The library mostly serves academics, various researchers of private interests, and people interested in family history. The public area is split into two spaces, one for group research and another for quiet, private research. I would imagine that most of the patrons/readers would rely on the library for academic work, so I am surprised that it is also a place for family history. I have generally associate public libraries with genealogy and family history services, but I guess that it really just depends on the family. Every library must cater to the needs of their users. And in the case of the Caird Library, they must have found that enough people needed family history material from them. In fact, the library is gradually making family history available online. That is very helpful because the Caird Library does not lend their materials. One may visit the library and access the materials, but they cannot borrow it.
It must be difficult to reconcile with limitations because I can imagine that most institutions want to make their collections easily accessible, but they must also negotiate with the facts that some materials are too rare and/or precious or that the institution might not have the time, budget, or staff to allow patrons to borrow their items.
After we left the tour, Jade and I hit a Chinese noodle house for lunch. From the menu and the exterior of the building, I had a feeling that it would be akin to traditional Chinese food and it was! The food was tasty and fresh. I got something called ho mein and wonton. I am not sure what “ho mein” is, but they were tasty rice noodles. I am all about rice noodles. It can be a challenge interpreting Chinese menus because it could go either way. I still take the risk!
We went in search of the Prime Meridian, so we could take that iconic photo straddling the line. One foot in the west and one foot in the east! I’m really glad that we did this!
The rest of the day was okay. I got motion sickness on the 188 bus back to Waterloo. I was fine after I sat down and decompressed. Jade and I went on another book bench hunt, but near Russell Square this time. We found Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Dalloway, and Pride and Prejudice. Yay for book benches! We had dinner and then headed to the South Bank where we ran into Laura K. We all took an evening stroll, which was a great ending to the day!
Until next time, stay cool, friends!