Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Greenwich Post (a few days late)

August 24, 2009 · No Comments

Having traveled to Embankment Station, and having ridden on a Thames cruise that left us quoting Titanic as it powered backwards away from a dock, we arrived in the London suburb of Greenwich.  After powering up both a painfully steep gang plank and an equally inclined hill we came upon the famous Greenwich observatory and the international dateline.  The obligatory photograph followed, and we were turned loose on the museums.  The exhibits featured not only the history of the Greenwich observatory, but stretched a few years further back to the beginning of time itself.  If one chose to enter the space museum, one could choose from a variety of interactive exhibits explaining how our universe is created, and of course giving the usual “apocalypse in five million years” speech.  One thing that interested me was the idea that watches weren’t invented until about two hundred years ago, and though hour glasses have been available for much longer, the idea of knowing the exact time was not something that was really needed.  A person simply woke with the sun and talked about things like distances in terms of days, not hours.  The humans of the past were much more in tuned with nature than we are today.  They let the requirements or even the inconveniences of the world control them, rather than trying to control it.  It’s a bit hard for someone like me to imagine a world without an idea of organized time.  My brain can’t really wrap itself around the concept.  However, it was an interesting trip nonetheless, continuing on with a jaunt through the “snogging park” and ending at Greenwich market, which made me wish that I had a limitless bank account.


 The rest of the day was spent in a trip to Camden, but being the foreigners that we are, we didn’t realize that markets here tend to close at a reasonable hour, so the whole town was shut up when we arrived.  We still had an entertaining walk through Camden however.  Our first attempt at dinner failed when the kitchen was closed, and the place we ended up eating left us feeling like we had entered the Temple of Doom, complete with giant carvings and statues, and even a matching soundtrack.  After we made out escape (feeling rather shaken) we returned to our hotel, having had a most informative, and interesting day.

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