My final day in London. Since I had decided the day before where I would be going, I did not have any trouble to get ready by 10 am. I was on my train from Ilford to Stratford and then from there the national rail to Royal Victoria station. From there we have a 2 minutes walk to the Emirates Royal Docks which has the Emirates Air Line. I did not feel any thing until I saw the cable car. Rewind to Ben Nevis experience happened and I was wondering if I should go alone or wait for someone to join. There was no much crowd in this area. But then I have come this far, as well get over with it. But to my surprise, when I was inside (thankfully along with a old couple) I did not feel the fear this time, even at the peak I was able to look around and see the sights. I know it would have been a damn beautiful sight at night. But still. I was happy that I could enjoy it and that I am slightly overcoming my fear. It was not particularly very low, and too high too. It took around 10 mins to get to the other side. In fact I was a little disappointed that I did not have any adrenaline rush.. How weird is that ? When I got there, I was wondering what to do. I did not expect it to get over by 10 mins. I went outside and first decided to have a coffee. I asked the guy there about the Greenwich observatory. He mentioned that it is not in walkable distance and that I might have to take a bus. We had the O2 area nearby, but I do not want to go inside a mall or anything anywhere now. I am not a fan of malls unless I have things to buy which can be achieved by the different shops in a mall. Since I would have to use the bus, I was wondering what to do and then slowly walked towards the Underground station, just next to the O2 area. I also saw the bus stand there and an information center for the buses. I finished my coffee leisurely, went to the old lady there and asked her about the buses to Greenwich Observatory or the Royal Observatory. She told me to take 129 or 188 buses (if I remember correctly) and said that one bus was already waiting outside. I didn’t waste any time and went ahead on the bus. I could use the Oyster card there. So I was good to go. It took around 15 mins or so in the bus and I got down in the Royal Observatory bus stop. From the bus stop we have directions so we need not even ask anyone there. Its a huge park which also hosts the observatory and also the museums, Queen’s home etc.
I still wasn’t decided on what I would be seeing till then, but when I entered the park and scanned the locations, I decided to complete my Prime Meridian visit first. So I walked towards it. It always nice to walk in such parks which are huge and have so much space for playing, relaxing and enough trees for shade too. The walk towards the observatory was very steep and by half I was feeling thirsty. From there you get a beautiful view of the city, the O2, the cable car, the Queens home etc. We need to buy a ticket to go the observatory and the museum inside. There was a queue in stand near the Prime Meridian line where people did poses and took snaps. Well, since I wasn’t that person, I just got around to take my snaps and go around the various things there. Like the Camera obscura, which gives a live screenshot of the Queen’s home very near by. You can see the buses and the ships in the Thames going through, the museum of the various people who were involved with the observatory. At 1 pm we had the time ball go up and then down which was earlier used as an indication for the sailors. I was exactly there on time and so watch the performance. Spent some time around looking at the various telescopes and videos explaining the longitude and latitude details and why they were important and stuff like that.
After that I visited the gift shop to see if I can get anything worthy there in my budget. There were quite a few school groups who were visiting. When I was checking out the keychains, there was this small pudgy kid who came and was checking the telescope based keychain and then he left and then came back. When I was wondering what he was doing, he turned around and then took a keychain, put it in his coat (the school coats that they wear there) and then went away calling someone. I was shocked. I wasn’t sure what to do. I was standing next to him and how dare he do that without even thinking twice. What if I tell the people there, even though they were watching like hawks, they obviously will miss this. I didn’t want to put that kid in trouble, but was not sure if by letting him go I was doing him any good. And there was one other problem, I wouldn’t be able to recognize him cause I did not see him that well. I left that place immediately and wondered outside taking pictures. The kids came out after some time and one particular girl (she looked short and sweet) came towards me. Now I was holding my handbags tightly…. don’t know what these kids are capable of. She asked me to high five her.. I was like ‘What!!’ she was like ‘high five’. And then I high five’d her and she went away smiling. No clue as to what she meant by it.
After some more time around there, went around the park and then after almost three hours there, came back to the entrance to the restaurant they had there. Had my lunch ( a vegetarian soup and bread and cappuccino) and headed back for my bus. My bus back to Greenwich station came in 5 mins. This time I decided to take the train back because I wanted to get back by 5 pm so that I can start packing. From Greenwich I took the train to Stratford and then from there to Ilford. I was home by 4.30 pm or so.
I called up the cab guy (whom I was introduced by the people who shared their cab ride on the way back from my Scotland trip) and confirmed my pick up time for tomorrow early morning. Informed the reception of my early checkout and then went to pack my bags. But as usual, I had tough time sleeping the day before the trip and by 3.30 am the cab was in the entrance.
I was in the airport by 5 am and my flight was for 8.20 am which got delayed by almost 20 mins or so. But I was there in the flight back home after my 3 week sojourn in a place away from home, all on my own.