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Another beautiful Saturday!  Today we explored Greenwich, in the south part of Greater London.  To get there, we decided to take a boat on the River Thames. There are several options, but we took a high-speed catamaran with Thames Clippers, leaving from downtown London.

Michael and Tower Bridge

St. Alfege Church, Greenwich

After arriving in Greenwich and stopping at the Visitor’s Center for lunch, we visited St. Alfege.  Thomas Tallis, the “Father of English Church Music”, is buried here and performed in this church (not in that order, though.)  During our visit, a group of musicians was rehearsing for a late afternoon concert.

St. Alfege Church, Greenwich

We then went to Greenwich Park and climbed the hill to the Royal Observatory.  The views over London were gorgeous!  Another panorama:

The Royal Observatory is where the Prime Meridian starts, as well as Greenwich Mean Time.  Michael and I had fun straddling the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

The Prime Meridian

There was an interesting exhibit that provided information about early astronomers, like John Flamsteed, Edmond Halley, and Sir Isaac Newton.  It also showed how astronomy played a major role in the development of measuring time as well as latitude and longitude.  Lots of great information!

We then walked down to visit the grand buildings of the Royal Naval College and the Queen’s House.  The Queen’s House is in the center of this photo:

Originally, there was a Tudor palace on this site, which is where King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I were born.  The Queen’s House was commissioned in 1616 by Anne of Denmark, wife of James I who reigned from 1603 to 1625.  She chose Inigo Jones to build the palace, but she died before it was completed.  It was used by other members of the royal family until the early 1800’s.  It has a couple of interesting design features, including an interesting tile floor in the Great Hall and a beautiful spiral staircase.

The “Tulip” Stairs, Queen’s House, Greenwich

After all of our sight-seeing, we stopped for a tea and scones before catching the next boat back to downtown London.