Sunday, January 29, 2017

Greenwich and the Prime Meridian

The Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory

Another world shaking event occurred for the LaGues today.  It was not just 2 weeks ago while in Iceland we were able to span the ever growing gap between the North American and Eurasian Tectonic plates.  Now, today we have stood at ground zero on the Prime Meridian line and straddle the east and west hemispheres.  To accomplish this feat we took a fast ferry to Greenwich on our first rainy day.

The Royal Observatory sits high on a hill and overlooks the Thames and the London skyline.  Here in the Observatory's courtyard the Meridian is marked with a brass line incised with world locations and their degrees.  Inside the Observatory and aligned with the brass is a green laser light line.  The building is filled with the machinations invented over the centuries to aid in navigation.  Christopher Wren who loved science and mathematics designed the building.
The National Maritime Museum

In addition to visiting the Royal Observatory, we came upon a nice little exhibit at the National Maritime Museum about Emma Hamilton.  I knew nothing of her.  But she is a most interesting woman of history.  Born poor, she went to London at age 12 to work.  She died the wife of a British envoy to Naples and the lover of Lord Nelson.  In between she was one of the most painted women of her era. Check her out.  Lord Nelson and her husband died before her, leaving her eventually penniless.

The village of Greenwich is the typical charming English place with pubs, Georgian buildings, monuments, church spires and cars on the wrong side of the street.  We ended our day there with a little dinner and a ferry ride home.  All other pictures are on flickr.