Greenwich

Greenwich is the suburb south of Thames opposite Docklands where East meets West at the Greenwich Meridian (0° Longitude). World Time is set Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). We visited Greenwich the day before the last day on our tour, that was a busy day since we already had visited British Museum and been up the London Eye. The weather was now nice. But I must admit, I had no idea how Greenwich would look like, I had just heard about the time zone. So I expected that we should come up to an industrial area from the underground's Cutty Sark station, but it turned out to be a very nice district with nice buildings, nice stores, royal palaces, impressive university buildings and many tourists. But even though Greenwich was much more beautiful than expected, as soon as the bus left the park and the harbour, we found out that the rest of Greenwich was a bit rundown, even below average standard.

Citated from GMT:s own website: "Greenwich, England has been the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) since 1884. GMT is sometimes called Greenwich Meridian Time because it is measured from the Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. It is the place from where all time zones are measured. Greenwich Mean Time is international time, the basis of the world time clock."

But the strange thing is that when we tried to find the Meridian, the 0° Longitude, noone could show us the way. The guard at the palace had never heard about Greenwich meridian zone, despite he was working right in the middle of it and the whole world's time is set from this point. The staff of a nearby pub didn't know what the Meridian zone or times zones was either, the waitress said she didn't even know what the time is now. Stupid people! A 3rd person of the staff was a little bit more clever and told us that it was in Greenwich Park. You don't have to live in Greenwich or even London, or even be interested in time zones, to know what Greenwich is. Well, I must admit that I didn't know exactly what it was before, but at least I have heard about it and I don't live in London.


Greenwich's town center.


Cutty Sark. A historical ship that was used by Lord Nelson. Tragically, it was seriously damaged a fire in May 2007 - 2 years after this photo was taken, but it will be preserved thanks to an Israeli shipping magnate.


Millennium Dome.
A huge beautiful modern creation, only built for the millennium. At least that is what you could think, when you realize that the dome has been empty since the millennium and noone knows what to use it for. It is 95m to the spire and was designed by Richard Rogers.

About the dome from its official website: "The new millennium officially started in Greenwich, England on 1st January 2001; The World's biggest dome was built on the Meridian Line in Greenwich to celebrate this historic event. The Millennium Dome closed to visitors on 31st December 2000 a few hours before the new millennium began! It is currently open for special events for short periods. Unfortunately the Dome has been tainted by political overtones with claims of donations to the governing Labour Party and allegations over applications for UK Passports. The future of the Dome is not yet confirmed. Nomura won the original competition with their Dome Europe proposal but subsequently withdrew".

The dome is situated opposite Thames from the town center and park of Greenwich, but I think it is very hard to get there. The dome can also be seen from Canary Wharf.


Greenwich Park. This park, created in 1433 as a royal park, has incredible views. In my opinion the most beautiful park in London, at least of the ones we visited.


The views over the park and Canary Wharf's skyline from its steep hill are very nice. We found out Greenwich is pronounced with a short e, just like Greenwich Village in New York.


The Meridian Time Zone goes through Greenwich Park. When taking this photograph I stood on the west side of the Meridian, but the trees in the distance are on the east side.


The palaces by the water was part of The Universtiy of Greenwich. The 4 sections had name such as Queen Anne Court, Queen Mary Court etc. Royal Naval College is also part of this complex. Note the Canary Wharf skyline in the background.


Queens House. A palace in classical style at Greenwich Park built for the Royal family. It is said that the White House in Washington was remodeled after Queens House.