In keeping with the theme of last night's play, I spent the day today wandering monuments of man's achievements in navigation, science, timekeeping and architecture.
I was tired this morning, and wanted a fairly low-key day, so I boarded a river-boat and cruised up the Thames to Greenwich. I swear the boat owner gave the same patter that he gave when I travelled the same route in 1976 (the monument to the Great Fire of London was "Christopher Wren's last great erection in London"... ba-boom), with a few more contemporary references ("as you all know Prince Charles likes old things ... and we're talking about architecture" ba-boom)
However, it should be noted that this trip is probably one of the best tourist values going. For the price of a return boat trip (11 pounds, with patter, or 10 without) you get the boat trip (which was interesting even with the bad jokes), plus Greenwich town, a beautiful park, the observatory and the absolutely spectacular architecture and interiors of the Naval College, all of which are FREE!!! This is compared to 17 pounds adult admission to the Tower of London.
And the architecture is truly splendid. Walking through it, you can understand where all that reason and enlightenment came from - the very walls are calm and orderly. I was struck with the way that every line led the eye somewhere beautiful; when you stand at the doorway of the "painted hall," looking down a columned portico, your eye is led directly to the observatory in the distance. As you walk through the hall, from back to front, you notice that the dome of the chapel is framed beautifully in the arched window.
Today was the first day I really relaxed into holiday mode. I wandered happily through the market in Greenwich town, bought a lovely picnic and ate it sitting under a tree in the green, green park, walked up to the observatory, then through the college buildings, marvelling at Christopher Wren's achievements.
Then I hopped back on the boat, and, from the sublime to the ridiculous, was met with the "World Naked Bike Ride" crossing Westminster Bridge!
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do tomorrow morning - no doubt I'll think of something. At 3:00 I have Waiting for Godot, then I'm going out to Gatwick to spend the night before... Venice on Monday!