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Greenwich

Folks, we've reached the end of the line. I've said (nearly) all I could say about my England 2012 trip with my home school students. It's been a fun way to revisit this gargantuan marathon of a trip, and I promise that I'll do better about posting about my future travels in a more timely manner. :)

We did three things in Greenwich. If you're planning a day there, let me advise you: do NOT do all three of these things in one day. You will hate yourself because you will be super rushed. Spread them out over two days. 

With that being said, onward into the Greenwich day recap!

Place #1: Cutty Sark Museum

Of the three places that we visited in Greenwich, I enjoyed this museum the best. It was accessible on a variety of levels: both the five year old and the parents got something out of visiting here. The graphics in the individual sections were striking, and walking through the exact ship that was being displayed on the maps, movies, and photos was an awesome experience.



The ship had just been through a refurbishment before we went--I don't know what it looked like before, but it sure is pretty now! It was so cool how the entire ship has been lifted up; this giant thing is actually suspended over the gift shop and cafe area. While we were walking on and around the ship, I had my fingers crossed that whoever put the ship up there was really, really competent.

Cutty Sark Museum

Place #2: National Maritime Museum

As the family I was traveling with was trying to cram a bunch of stuff into one day, we did the super speedy version of this museum. Even if you're not interested in the history of ships, this museum is worth going out to Greenwich for.

If you've got kids in tow, there's an awesome interactive section with dress up clothes, a kid-sized ship (where they learn about commerce and shipping), and short movies about pirates and the seas.


The kids really wished we could have stayed in this section longer, but the parents whisked us away after about half an hour to see an exhibit on slavery.

That section was wonderfully curated and absolutely heartbreaking. It's one thing to read about slavery and the effects of it on the people being shipped and used. It's another thing entirely to be inches away from an actual slave collar and chains. The other teacher and I tried to prepare the children for the exhibit as much as we could; the kids were curious at first, but saddened after we walked through the area. To me, seeing those kinds of things are heartwrenching, but keeping them in the public eye reminds us to never make the same mistakes again (like the Holocaust Museum or Vietnam Memorial). 

Place #3: Greenwich Observatory

I know this is bad, but I don't remember much from the Observatory part of our Greenwich day. We'd had an insanely busy schedule on the trip--and Greenwich fell towards the end of it.

Greenwich Observatory

Add in the fact that we'd hit three major sites before dinner time and you've got a worn out bunch of travelers. Here's a short recap of what I do recall from the world famous Greenwich Observatory:
  • There were clocks. A lot of clocks.
  • We went to see a movie about space exploration in the planetarium. I am usually gung-ho about all things space; after all, I wanted to be an astronaut before I found out that 1) you can't wear glasses in space, 2) you have to have a degree in something that doesn't involve books, and 3) you have to learn to pee into the side of the spaceship. Still, I am very excitable about astronaut-y things (my blog is named Cosmos Mariners!), but this time, I couldn't muster the energy. I, Natalie of Cosmos Mariners fame, freely admit that I fell asleep during the movie. It was so dark and warm in there, and I was sitting in one of those planetarium chairs that tilts all the way back. Can you blame me?
  • Straddling the Prime Meridian line isn't as exciting as you might think. We waited and waited and waited in line for the photo op, and then you just stand on this metal line. What?! You don't get confetti or the warm fuzzies or anything?!?!

And that allows me to end my England recountings on a rather pathetic note. Ha!

If all things go as planned, I'll be headed back to London next spring for a few days. I won't have four kids with me this time, so I should be able to do some really in-depth writing and picture taking. Yay!

In the meantime, let's talk about tomorrow.

Lovely blog reader people: I LEAVE FOR DISNEY TOMORROW. You must come back to the blog then to read all about my trip and the #4Parks1Day challenge I've got planned!!