Another 6 days then London to Dubai on Friday 5 December
04.12.2014 5 °C
Here we are on Saturday 29 November already. Today was our nautical day with a City River Cruise down to Greenwich, a visit to the National Maritime Museum and a visit to the HMS Belfast, a WW2 and Korean War era light cruiser now an Imperial War Museum attraction.
Here are some pictures taken from the City Cruise.
On the way to Greenwich down river on the Thames, we saw the Prospect of Whitby Public House which Captain James Cook used to frequent for a pint of ale. There has been a Public House on this site for more than 500 years.
Canary Wharf. The Docks and Wharves of London used to extend along the banks of the Thames right down from London to Greenwich. These have been replaced with housing and other redevelopment.
Greenwich - the Royal Observatory from which Greenwich Mean Time and longitude is calculated is on the hall between the Naval Buildings.
The National Maratime Museum
Admiral Horatio Nelson's uniform worn at the Battle of Trafalgar
Part of the display in the Nelson Wing
Lord Horatio Nelson's stockings and breeches he wore just before his death.
Britain 111 -fastest salt water boat with speeds of 100mph in 1933. The cutting edge design led to the building of fast torpedo boats in WW2.
The Cutty Sark -the very fast tea clipper from Asia to Europe.
Tower of London
The Shard is the tallest building in Europe. In the foreground is HMS St Albans, currently in service with the Royal Navy and behind it is the permanent display of the Imperial War Museum, the HMS Belfast.
The Bakery. This tiny space was used by the 6 bakers on board the HMS Belfast.
View towards the bridge of HMS Belfast.
The helicopter on HMS St Albans with Tower Bridge in the background.
We visited the British Museum on Monday.
The British Museum
The Great Court
There were two exhibits we especially wanted to see- the Minoan treasures from the Island of Rhodes and the Elgin Marbles, the frieze panels taken from the Parthenon in Athens by Lord Elgin in 1801 and bought by the British Museum in 1802. There were many other first class exhibits like the Rosetta Stone.
The Rosetta Stone
More about the Rosetta Stone and its crucial importance in understanding the ancient hieroglyphics of the Egyptians.
The history of the Rosetta Stone
One of the many exhibition halls
Minoan jewellery from Crete - 3000 years BC
Large pottery jar same as many we saw at the Minoan Palace of Knossos at Rhodes around 3500BC ie 5500 years old.
A real highlight for us were the Elgin Marbles. These sections from the Parthenon are a matter of discussion as the Greeks would like them back.
The Parthenon Marbles, also known as the Elgin Marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures (mostly by Phidias and his assistants), inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin claimed to obtain a controversial permit 'to remove statues but what he might discover in specific excavation' from the Sublime Porte, which then ruled Greece.
From 1801 to 1812, Elgin's agents removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as architectural members and sculpture from the Propylaea and Erechtheum. The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain.
See below sections that once were mostly the west frieze of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.
Before we left the Museum we had a look at the Anglo Saxon rooms.
The Lewis Chess set.
The Lewis chessmen (or Uig chessmen, named after the bay where they were found) are a group of 12th-century chess pieces, along with other gaming pieces, most of which are carved in walrus ivory. Discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, they were thought to come from Norway when the Norwegians took over Greenland around 1000AD.
Colleen went to this store today while I stayed home.
We went our different ways again with me going out to Colindale to the RAF Museum.
The RAF Museum is north of London at the airfield of Hendon.
One of the hangars used for displays.
Hurricane and Spitfire on display out the front.
Just some of the aircraft in the main hall range from the early years of flight to newly retired fighter jets.
De Havilland Misquito - a very fast fighter bomber and night fighter from WW2 famous for being made of wood.
Dam busters Display
This is a replica Upkeep Bomb used to blow dams on the Rhine with devastating effect. The bombs were dropped at a height of 50 feet and bounced along the water till they hit the dam wall and then were programmed to explode at a certain depth. Dr Barnes Wallis was the inventor.
Lancaster Heavy Bomber. This one was used first by the RAF then the RAAF and flew 137 missions. The average age of the 7 man crews of these planes was 22.
Information panel on the Lancaster.
The US built Consolidated Liberator B V111. 19257 were built between 1940 and 1945. It was America's first mass produced aircraft with one being built every 60 minutes at Ford's Willow Run Factory.
Sunderland Flying Boat
Junkers Ju87 also known as a Stuka Dive Bomber
Later in the afternoon, I visited the British Library, the second largest library in the world and home of 14 million books.
Courtyard of the British Library.
Interior of the library
The Treasures of the Library section is very interesting with many very valuable and original manuscripts including from such people as Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry V111, artists, writers and musicians. This photo above shows original writings of some Beatles songs.
Today was our last full day in London. The weather has been around 5 Degrees Celsius most of the day with a quite chilly wind and occasional light rain. Nevertheless we had a trip to see St Paul's and then a walk along the south bank of the Thames.
West entrance of St Paul's Cathedral designed by Sir Christopher after the original was burned in the Great Fire of London of 1666.
The Dome of St Paul's viewed just from the Millenium Bridge
The Millenium Bridge with the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in the background. The Gallery building was once a power station.
View down the river at 1.30pm.
Recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
The Harvard Chapel named after John Harvard baptised here in 1607 before leaving for the US to start a little school of his own.
We leave for Dubai in the morning and get there at 8.00pm their time. Temperatures in Dubai are around 27 degrees through the day with a low of 22 degrees at night.