Visualizing Greenwich

My pictures from yesterday do not seem to be posting for some reason, due to an "unexpected error" on Squarespace.

While problematic, this offers the opportunity for a visualization exercise! I'll talk, you visualize! Go ahead, close your eyes!

(Ok, I now realize that won't work. Keep your eyes open.)

But picture this: you're soaring in a cable car high above a river. Perhaps reflecting that most of the cable cars you've ridden in your life have had very different views - mountains, perhaps. Snowy peaks. You're looking down at the O2 arena, realizing you've never seen it up close before. In the same cabin are three British youths (you're old enough to call them that, even though they're all probably in their twenties). One of them turns out to be scared of heights and is gripping the seat for all he's worth. You're glad you're not him.

It's not the most riveting cable car of your life, but you're glad you've tried it. Now on the south side of the river, at the tip of the Greenwich Peninsula, you figure you might as well wander over to the O2 and see what it's like on the inside. It turns out to be full of chain restaurants, and feels not unlike a large mall, or perhaps a Las Vegas hotel. You think, I'd like to come back here for a concert sometime. 

Then you decide to walk to Greenwich proper. This turns out to be an unexpectedly uninteresting 45-minute walk, past absolutely nothing of interest. Luckily, you've got season 2, episode 1 of Serial to entertain you. You were riveted by season 1. You hope season 2 will be just as good, this time about the controversial captivity and release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier to be held by the Taliban since the start of the war in Afghanistan.

You reach Greenwich proper just as the episode ends and immediately head for Greenwich market, which is fun and colorful and full of things to admire and eat. You make the mistake, however, of ordering a cold vegan lasagna. Live and learn.

Then you move on to visit the Cutty Sark, a British tea clipper built in the mid-1800s. It's been elevated over a glass-roofed visitors' center, meaning you can not only walk through the hulls and across the deck, but you can actually walk underneath the ship as well. This makes for cool pictures. (Trust me. Visualize it.) You learn where the name actually comes from: a "cutty sark" is a Scottish undergarment, named in Robert Burns' poem Tam o'Shanter, wherein a farmer admires a witch named Nannie Dee, who is wearing a too-small cutty sark. She and the other witches, warlocks, and even the Devil himself chase after the farmer, who manages to escape, but not before Nannie pulls off his horse's tail. Indeed, the figurehead of the ship is a carved woman holding a horse's tail. That's Nannie.

After disembarking from the Cutty Sark, you walk up a hill in Greenwich Park to the Royal Observatory, site of the Prime Meridian. It's too late to get in, but you admire the beautiful view of Greenwich, the Thames river, and London skyscrapers in the distance. You sit for a few moments and think about your day, and how it was nice to see something new today.

Then you stand up, and walk back down the hill, heading home.