I managed to travel all over the city today without using the tube. I decided to try my luck with the trains today. The train is a bit slower than the tube, but its roomier, cleaner, comfier, and has a better view.
I wandered around Borough Market for a few hours this morning. I picked up a Streets CD for 7 quid at small music store. Then I snagged a backgammon board at a flea market for a pound. Most of Borough is a farmer’s market with pretty steep prices – I wasn’t that impressed so I jumped on a train to Greenwich.
Greenwich was a lot cooler than Borough. There were a ton of bric-a-brac shops and little market stalls everywhere with cheap prices (at least by London standards). I found a bookstore selling all its books for 2 quid, and bought Alice in Wonderland and Wind in the Willows. I thought I’d follow up Harry Potter with some more British childrens literature.
I wandered through Greenwich park with the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory – which the Prime Meridian runs through and is kind of the place where time started (or at least where it’s defined from). Both of the museums were free so I spent some time in both. The maritime museum had all these amazing models of ships – but the view in the park was the highlight. Today was one of those days I really wish I had a camera. The view of London from the hill the observatory sits on is breath-taking. I’ll have to go back once I buy a new camera.
After the museums, I explored the Greenwich market. Now this was more like it – all artist shops with unique stuff and a string quartet playing in a corner. While I was wandering around, to my surprise, a big brass band came marching by – complete with old men in sailor uniforms. So cool.
I followed the band back to the river where the Cutty Shark – big ship that is straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean – is docked. Another picturesque view of the river and the ship – so frustrating.
I then walked under the Thames to the docklands area. Yes, you read right, walked under the Thames. There’s a pedestrian tunnel that was built in 1902! Craziness. It was a bit eerie walking through a long, damp tunnel that is under a huge river in a tunnel build over 100 years ago.
When I surfaced on other side of the tunnel, I was in the docklands, just a stones through from Canary Wharf and work. I wandered through Mudchute park, and for a second I couldn’t tell I was in the city. I could see horses running around and I was surrounded by trees. If it wasn’t for the sky-scrapers over the treeline, I wouldn’t have believed I was in the centre of a city of 7 million people.