Greenwich, London: Breathtaking Views + The London Olympics.

Greenwich London

 It's been a while since I played tourist in my own city, this week I decided to spend some time ambling around at my own pace! Top of my itinerary was the poppy memorial at the Tower of London (I'm saving that spectacle for another post), but the rest of my day was spent seemingly circling the Shard ... I swear it follows me everywhere!

After the Tower of London, I took the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Greenwich ... somehow I've never been on it before. I loved getting a fleeting feel for the old docks and Canary Warf... though it's a good job I didn't realise it was driver-less till I was safely back on the underground!

Greenwich

I really like the feel of Greenwich, home of the Cutty Sark and National Maritime Museum, it has an oddly coastal feel for somewhere so urban. Obviously, that's down to its proximity to the river, but it was more than that, I just can't quite put my finger on it.

 The main aim of my trip was to climb the hill up to the Royal Observatory to get a look at the view.

On arrival, you're greeted by the Queen's, beautifully symmetric, house ...


If you walk through its open stone corridors you reach Greenwich Park. The patch of grass through the pillars is actually where the London 2012 Olympic equestrian events were held ... more on that later!


Now comes the tricky bit! The walk to the Royal Observatory starts of pleasant but ends in an incredibly steep incline ... don't let the welcoming path fool you ... but don't trust the sign that says the steep section takes six minutes ... it took me about one and a half ... it's not that bad really ...


I promise the hike is 100% worth it, simply for this view ...


I love that the old City (St Paul's area - The Gherkin, Cheesegrater etc.) and the new City (Canary Warf) can be seen on one skyline. When I lived in London a few years back, if I stuck my head out of the window in the right direction, I had this view but from the west of the frame - for some reason, it was really comforting to have that to anchor my surroundings. I liked thinking of all the Citi group employees sat in their towering building ... wondering whether they could see, even the tiniest bit of, mine.

Oddly, the skyscrapers felt more imposing the further back I stood from the edge...


The London Olympics

Throwback to August 2012 and I was sat in a stand, way above the vast expanse of grass seen in the pictures above; watching the first round of the Olympic showjumping! Somehow my whole family had managed to get tickets for the same day. I've been going to watch show jumping since I was very little, so the opportunity to see the Olympic event in the flesh was very exciting!


Going back this week really made me appreciate the temporary arena that they'd managed to construct ... 


My seat certainly provided a different perspective of the Queen's House ...


Of course, Britain went on to win the competition - but on the first day, it was the Dutch who led the pack. We happened to be sitting behind some incredibly enthusiastic supporters from the Netherlands. They were clad head to toe in their national colour (orange), had miniature clogs attached to their caps and waved a huge (eight person long) banner after each of their riders completed a round...


... being the polite Brits that we are, we didn't complain about their fun ... but it did make it all the more satisfying when our team eventually went on to win gold!

My trip back to Greenwich park definitely brought back some fun memories! I'm pretty desperate to go back to take a look inside the Royal Observatory and see a show at the planetarium, space is always fascinating, right?