This is my last day in London. I went to GMT (Greenwich), before going back to GMT+8 (Hong Kong). Maybe this day was meant to be a good closure of the trip because, as you’ll see, it mirrored the first day in some ways.
Greenwich is reached by the driverless Dockland Light Rail:
Once there, I devoured a big breakfast at Peter de Wit’s Cafe:
The major sights are clearly signed in Greenwich so I quickly located the National Maritime Museum:
I enjoyed the special exhibition on toy boats (I was once obsessed with model ship) and the actual coat worn by Admiral Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar. The hole made by the bullet that killed him was visible. It was quite a visual impact, amplified by the splatter of blood around it.
Behind the museum is Greenwich Park. At the top of the lush hill is the Royal Observatory, famous for being the site that marks the Greenwich Mean Time.
Here is the famous Greenwich line, formed by tourists waiting to take pictures of themselves straddling a metal strip on the ground.
The view from the observatory is beautiful. Canary Wharf (the office blocks further back) can be seen in the distance. For some reason, this place always reminds me of the financial crisis.
My next stop was the Greenwich Market:
The food section featured cuisines that are not found in Hong Kong, such as Moroccan (yes, this was my lunch, orange chicken with tomato puree on couscous, served with fallen leaves… I mean salad):
Each of these Italian deep-fried rice balls is a meal in itself:
Lovely cupcakes and cookies:
I then returned to Tate Modern, which I also visited on Day 1, for an exhibition on street photography and privacy. On the St. Paul side of the river, the street painter was still working. He seemed to have made good progress:
One last shot of the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral:
Time to pick up my luggage at the hotel and head for the airport. This is Queensway Station, the tube station I used everyday during the trip. I can still remember, almost word for word, the announcement about one lift being taken out of service.
My hotel room:
Remember that when I first arrived, I saw a passenger trapped by the doors of Heathrow Connect? This happened again when I took the train to the airport. Why are the train doors so insensitive?
At the airport I was given the most thorough security search I had ever received. The guy scanned EACH of the metal buttons on my shirt and even searched the INSIDE of my belt.
It was sad that the trip had to end so quickly. As if it was some sort of solace, I was treated to this beautiful sunset before boarding:
On the last full day of my trip, I took a one-hour train to the City of Dreaming Spires. This time I’ll keep writing to a minimum and let the pictures do the talking.
(There are lots of images in this post and it may take a while to load all of them.)
One thing that surprised me was the large Chinese community in the city. Within 10 minutes from the train station I saw no less than three Mandarin-speaking groups, as well as a karaoke bar with signs all written in Chinese.
First, I walked the area around the covered market:
One of the shops sold artistic cakes:
This jewelry store is called “Nothing”, and the shop next it, “Next to Nothing” (I wonder what “Rail Inside” means):
A quick lunch (steak & kidney pie) at a pie shop.
Then I went to Christ Church, one of the 13 colleges of the university. It took me quite a while to find the entrance, but getting lost in the back streets was a great way of taking in the city’s medieval charm:
This is the front gate of Christ Church. Beautiful flowers here:
Inside the college:
Outside the college’s cathedral, two ladies were handing out introductory leaflets. One of them asked:
“Would you like a leaflet as a reminder of what you’re taking pictures about?”
“Great! I was just going to ask if I can take pictures.” I said.
Inside the cathedral:
From the cathedral I found my way to the Hogwarts-esque dining hall:
Then I took a rest at a nearby cafe, and ordered some cream tea:
There was no time to visit another college so I just walked around the Radcliffe Camera area:
I climbed a medieval tower for an aerial view of the city’s famous spires:
Back in London, I returned to Trafalgar Square, this time for a brief visit to the National Gallery.
I could have just taken the tube back to the hotel, but I walked all the way to Piccadilly Circus, and hopped on a random bus.
Because I wanted to get a feel of the city as much as possible before leaving tomorrow.
In Hong Kong, when a section of pavement has to be dug up for maintenance works (such as repairing water/gas pipe), the site is usually surrounded by fences which bear the stock phrase “We apologize for any inconvenience caused”.
Sometimes this is also accompanied by the drawing of an apologetic man, and it seems that each government department/utilities company has its own version of “Sorryman”.
Hong Kong Electric:
Water Supplies Department:
He also works part-time at the Highways Department: