Dear Luke and Leia,
Today is our second day in London and we have chosen to take a river cruise on the Thames. It runs from the downtown area of London up to Greenwich. It is cold and rainy today, but thankfully the river boat is well prepared for this with closing glass windows that you can see the city from.
Our river cruise on the Thames begins by heading towards London's famous Tower Bridge. That's the same one we rode across yesterday on the HoHo tour bus.
It was different looking at the bridge from the Thames river level instead of street level. It looks so much more impressive when you are at this level as it towers over you while passing under it. The people look minuscule compared to the base of the tower.
Next we cruise through the area known as the docklands. This is where the shipping for London loads and unloads and has been used to many of hundreds of years. Now there is a convention center named Excel located in this area and lots of hotels and restaurants to serve the conference goers.
We liked the Financial District with all the skyscrapers that reached into the clouds and seemed to pull them down. It looked like one of the clouds was a tornado over the Citi building, but it was not.
Finally, we reached Greenwich, which marks the far end of the river cruise. This is where the times zones of the world start, known as GMT or Greenwich mean time. From this point you either add an hour or subtract and hour for each zone radiating outwards from Greenwich around the world until you reach the international dateline in the Pacific Ocean. The dateline dodges islands both east and west to split the start of days.
We saw so many interesting buildings while on the river cruise on the Thames river with very stately architecture. Many had columns and domes and ornate designs on them like those above.
We came across the HMS Belfast battleship. It's been decommissioned and which is now a naval museum. The battleship was launched in 1938 and fought in both the Second World War and the Korean War. The ship was impressive from the view we had. This ship time period marks the ending of the British Empire and the time the United States rose to world power.
At one time the British Empire stretched across the whole world that it was said the sun never set upon the British Empire. Do you know why? Because God didn't trust the Brits in the dark.
We we are reaching the end of our river cruise on the Thames river. We have seen such an overview of London in the first two days of our layover in London, but tomorrow we will focus on the Tower of London. I think it's time for a pint with my half-pint (Nana) at a local pub and some fish and chips for dinner.
We miss you both.
Nana and Pap