Travels with Dad: London, March 1991

March 28, 1991

There was a bunny in the garden this morning!

Dad & I took the Underground to the Embankment and from there, a boat to Greenwich. Dad says he really feels the approach to Greenwich should be made by boat. It was a wonderful trip down the River Thames – under Tower Bridge, past the Tower of London, and other historic sites.

Visited the beautiful Cutty Sark and bought Jonathan [My brother has sailed from the age of 4 – Dad always said he’d trust his life to Jonathan on any boat. Many years later, he actually worked with a friend on restoring the Cutty Sark!] some souvenirs. We had a lovely time climbing all over the beautiful old ship. I especially enjoyed the account of one of her captains, who brought his collies aboard and learned to ride a bike on the between decks!

Had lunch at the Trafalgar Tavern, built in 1837, and a favorite of Dickens, Thackeray, and Wilkie Collins. The food and the view were both excellent. Dad takes his pubs seriously, bringing the Good Pub Guide with him and making notes. [He even sent in reviews for pubs he felt were much better or worse than their rating in the Guide.]

After lunch, we visited the Royal Observatory. It was fascinating to see all the old instruments and the beautful – one of the few remaining – Christopher Wren interiors. Standing on the time line [the Prime Meridian, from which all time and distance is measured in the whole world] was as exciting to me now as it was when I was a child.

We could have spent the whole day at the Maritime Museum. Not only is it a lovely building, but the collection is arranged so well – you follow the course of British Naval history. There were models of ships made when the ship herself was being built, from the 1600s on, an exhibit on Nelson, Cook, & Arctic exploration, as well as a minutely detailed exhibit on wooden boat-making which I wished Jonathan could have seen.

We took the boat back to the Tower [Tower Hill Underground station] and then the train back to Wimbledon. Dad & I were both sleepy and sort of dozing on each other’s shoulders. As I watched the familiar landmarks flash past, I started to think that this would be the last time during this visit that we’d ride the train together. I feel so lucky that my father is my very dear friend and that we take such genuine pleasure in each other’s company.

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