Sunday, 19 August 2012

Trip to Greenwich

So after asking around a forum ( for Nelson-related places, monuments and memorials, I was pointed in the direction of a life-size bronze statue of him, placed outside the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich.  Now, I'm a lover of statues in general, and from the picture of this statue it looked to be a particularly fine one.  

I decided to make a day-trip of it with my son, and started with a walk from Westminster down to Tower Bridge on the south side of the river, so we got a good view (and lots of photos) of various landmarks on the other side.  Initially we had thought we could walk to Greenwich, as a guide near the London Eye told us it would be a 5-mile walk that would take about an hour and a half.  However, double-checking with another guide (they've been dotted around London to help the Olympic tourists) resulted in being laughed at and told we couldn't make the 15 mile walk unless we had robot legs.  So we took the boat from Tower Bridge instead.

By that time it was early evening, the sun was setting and the walk past the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum (which I was disappointed to be too late to visit) was very pleasant.  Then, we reached a road called Park Row and looked up and down it to see which way this Trafalgar Tavern might be.  Down the end of the road to the left, however, I saw a dark figure with his back to us, sedately looking out over the Thames.  So we headed towards it.

I must say, the statue exceeded my expectations.  It is placed outside the Trafalgar Tavern, but not right outside the door, so you don't feel like a total numpty standing for half an hour looking at it and taking photos.  It is at the end of a quiet side-road, which again surprised me, as I had expected a main road or slightly touristy area.  As it was, there was barely anyone there, apart from people passing by coming up from the Thames path.  I very much liked the fact that the statue is set on the ground, which is quite unusual as they are normally up on plinths.

The statue itself really is a work of art.  The artist clearly put a lot of effort into her research.  The detail is very intricate, even down to his epaulettes and the lines of his face.  He is a little taller than life-size, I think, although the base of the statue is about an inch or two thick.   

Of course it is stupidly nerdy of me to take so much pleasure in such a thing, but I really did.  In fact, I'll definitely be paying it another visit when I make the trip to the museum and the Old Royal Naval College :^)

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