Saturday, August 31, 2019

Standing on the Prime Meridian - East vs West!

Three years ago, I got to stand on the Equator, shown here. It was a great experience, so since we were in London, I wanted to stand on the Prime Meridian.

Barbara and I hopped on a boat and rode down to Greenwich. Along the way we went under a lot of bridges.

We got to see the Big Ben tower with all the scaffolding again.

And we went under the new London Bridge, not nearly as beautiful as the one they sold to us that is now in Lake Havasu, AZ.

After a fairly short trip, we arrived at Greenwich Pier.

And trudged up the hill to the Royal Observatory.

Ta-da! This line is marking the Prime Meridian. Is it at the right place? I'm not telling.

But here's proof that I did make it there.

The Observatory had some nice exhibits, including this unique old telescope.

I really liked the Dolphin Sundial outside. Unfortunately, it wasn't sunny, but when it is, the time is where the shadow of the two tails meet.

From the top of the hill, we got a great view of Greenwich.

On the way back to the boat, we went through the Greenwich Market.

And the clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, built in 1869. She held the record time from Australia to Great Britain for 10 years!

I really liked the ship's figurehead.

Down by the Greenwich Pier is a pedestrian tunnel that goes under the River Thames. Of course we had to walk it.

On the ride back to London, we went by some old military ships -

And Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, that we went to many days ago.

So will I ever be done posting about London? Soon! Only one more post, and it's a goodie!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Two Museums and a Big Surprise!

On our next day in London, we started out at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I had expected it to be about Victoria and Albert, but it was more of a History Museum.

One room was full of casts of famous statues, such as Michelangelo's David, on the right.

I really liked these intricate tapestries.

We then moved on the the Natural History Museum.

The highlight here is this Blue Whale, the largest animal to have ever lived.

But we were really excited about our evening excursion. We took the tube to this rather small theater -

To see Hamilton!!! It was absolutely fabulous!

No pictures were allowed, of course, but there are plenty available on the internet, even with the same cast that we saw.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Harry Potter to the Max!

The next day we took the train out to the Warner Brothers Studio where they filmed Harry Potter. If you aren't a Harry Potter fan, you may as well stop reading now...

Harry lived in this small cubbyhole under the stairs -

Until he got multiple invitations to go to Hogwarts.

To get there, he had to get on the train at Platform 9 3/4, as Mara is demonstrating.

We saw lots of the full-size sets, starting off with the Dining Hall.

Then there was Dumbledore's office -

And the Potions Classroom.

We got to see the Potter's house, where Harry's parents were killed, and Harry received the lightning bolt scar on his forehead.

One of my favorites was the Gringotts Wizarding Bank. The room was huge!

And the tellers were really scarry!

This short video shows the most amazing thing in the studio. This is not from a tv screen, but a really amazing scene!

We went through Diagon Alley -

And the Forbidden Forest.

At lunch, Mara and Corrie had some Butterbeer.

We even got to see the Golden Snitch -

And Mara and Corrie got to try out the Flying Car.

We walked across Hogwarts Bridge.

And I got to do "Digital Dobby," where Dobby mimics your movements.

Hogwarts Castle is a 1:24 size model where the outdoor scenes were shot against a green screen. You can see the size by comparing it to the people on the right. It was still big!

Then as we were leaving, we saw a group of Hogwarts students coming in!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Hottest Day in London History!

One day in London, it was supposed to be 102 degrees - the highest temperature in their recorded history! We didn't do much that day, but had tickets to tour the Tower Bridge. On the way, we had a great view of the Tower of London that we toured the day before.

We walked onto the bridge -

Then climbed up to the dual high-level walkways.

They have put in a glass floor on one of the walkways.

Okay, Jonathan, that looks pretty scary!

We're waiting for the drawbridge to open. Right before it did, this bride and groom ran across.

There we go! Sorry for the dots. I should have gotten farther away from the glass.

A little better...

Another photo of the bizarre difference in architecture in London - very old to very new.

After the drawbridge closed, we went down to the Victorian Engine Rooms, where we saw the original bridge lifting machinery.

Then we walked over to the other side of the bridge.

We knew that the bridge would be opening again soon, and there it goes!

So what else to do when it's really hot? We decided to go to Harrod's Department Store, which we knew would be air conditioned. But Barbara and I are not big shoppers, so we had a picnic in Hyde Park, then went back to our apartment and sat in front of a fan. We survived!