I began Day Seventeen early since the forecast predicted rain around midday and I wanted to try to reach today’s planned destination before it did. No such luck, though, as it arrived early and was already drizzling when I left for Paddington just after 9 am. I caught the Bakerloo Line to Baker Street (imagine that), changing to the Jubilee Line which I took south to Canary Wharf where I made my final change of the journey to the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), alighting at Cutty Sark. Today’s destination: the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, which is set on the prime meridian and houses London’s only planetarium. The drizzle had stopped by the time I got to Greenwich, allowing me a somewhat dry but very windy walk through Greenwich Park, followed by a hike up the hill to the observatory (another hill!). I’d made better time than I expected, and after securing a ticket for the 12:30 planetarium show, I had a lot of time to fill before it was time to queue up, so I headed to the café for a cup of tea and a scone (since I skipped breakfast). After my sustenance break, I made my way over to the Royal Observatory and toured the various buildings with their numerous scientific instruments, finishing my exploration at the prime meridian.
I then wandered my way back to the planetarium and queued up for the show, heading inside after a short wait and finding a very comfy seat … a seat that reclines just enough that a person could easily take a nap (hint hint, airlines). After the seats filled up, the show began, that particular one focusing on what would be visible in the sky this evening … if it weren’t cloudy and raining. And although the forecast promises more of the same in the coming days, those celestial bodies will be visible for the next few nights. After a very interesting tour of stars, constellations, and planets, the show finished with a view of our Milky Way Galaxy from our planet’s position, which is quite a ways out from the centre. Fun fact I learned: Our galaxy is about 150,000 light years in diameter, or as the scientist leading the show broke it down, if a person on one side texted a person on the other, it would take 150,000 years for that text to reach its destination. When the show was over, I headed down the hill through Greenwich Park in the wind and the rain and back to Cutty Sark station (past the ship of the same name). I caught the DLR back to Canary Wharf where I switched to a northbound Jubilee Line train, getting off in West Hampstead and heading to Costa for a bite of lunch and another cup of tea.
After food and a spot of reading, I ventured back out into the wind and rain, wandering up the road to Tesco to stock up on Jaffa Cakes to take home before heading back to the West Hampstead station to catch the Jubilee Line to Baker Street and the Bakerloo Line to Paddington and the flat.