We check out at 8:30am and leave the Azamara Journey. A tender boat takes us to Greenwich Pier. Our luggage is housed in a tent next to the dock. Everything is going smoothly. We say goodbye to fellow travelers and take a taxi to Liverpool Street Station.
Greenwich - Cutty Sark
From Liverpool Street Station to the Tower
The taxi situation in Greenwich is not very convincing, at least this morning. We have to wait about 20 minutes. We pay 35 GBP to Liverpool Street Station. That is a reasonable price for the two of us and the luggage. And it's a real London taxi. Very nice with a straight entry at the back and a partition to the front. The taxi takes us quickly to the train station. Storing your luggage is also great. It's all as we researched before. We only fly to Germany in the evening, which means we have time for further discoveries in London.
Our first destination is the Tower of London. On the way there we pass the Gherkin designed by Norman Foster and look into Leadenhall Market. It's a very beautiful morning and fun to walk around London.
From the Tower Bridge to the Millenium Bridge
The Tower Bridge follows the Tower, which we cross towards City Hall - also a Norman Foster building. A promenade runs along the Thames. Every now and then benches invite you to relax. Everything is well maintained and also quite clean. We walk past the Shard, currently the tallest building in London, also designed by a famous architect - Renzo Piano. If you like modern architecture, you have come to the right place in London. And glaring new buildings are emerging everywhere.
London Bankside - The Shard
We arrive at Southwark Cathedral, an old Anglican church right next to the Shard. This is also London, old and new go together. Behind the church, under the train tracks near London Bridge Station, is Borough Market, a food market that also sells street food. Here the producers sell directly, fresh things are spread out everywhere, there is baking, cooking and grilling, and everything looks very tasty.
We supply ourselves with a spicy pie for our next break on the Thames promenade. We follow it to Shakespeare's Globe Theater, then we cross the Millennium Bridge and continue on the other side of the Thames.
From St Paul's to Covent Garden
Our first stop is St Paul's Cathedral. The huge building is the bishopric of the Church of England. In the garden of the church, employees from the surrounding offices sit and have their lunch. We already know that from our last visit to London. When the weather is nice, every piece of green in the city is occupied at noon. However, we go down the long stairs to the "Crypt Cafe", which is located in the vault under the cathedral. There is a bistro-café, a tea room, a souvenir shop and - very important - clean toilets. Recommendable.
We walk through Fleet Street, once the powerhouse of the British press, to Covent Garden. The covered former market is always worth seeing and a tourist magnet with its art productions, gastronomic establishments and chic shops. While we are there, two actors perform a piece in the piazza and a soprano sings in the halls. And the artists are really good.
Opera arias in Covent Garden
Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus
Another 700 meters further on we come to Trafalgar Square. The large square is dominated by two fountains and the Nelson's column. There are embassy buildings, the National Gallery and St Martin-in-the-Fields on the square. This church is known because Buckingham Palace belongs to the parish of St Martin and it is therefore the Church of the Royal Family in London. But St Martin-in-the-Field is also known as an open door church that cares for the poor and the homeless.
Our last stretch takes us to Piccadilly Circus. Five streets meet at this Soho transportation hub. At least one of the distinctive red double-decker buses can always be seen. As early as 1900, huge billboards were put up on the walls of the houses on the square. In 2017, an LED 4K video wall was installed in Piccadilly Circus. At 780 square meters, it is the largest in Europe.
A nice cruise comes to an end
We have seen enough for today and are now pretty lame. A taxi will take us to Liverpool Street Station. We pick up our bags and take the train to London Stansted Airport. The journey takes a good hour and the train stops right at the terminal. Our flight starts on time and lands on time. We'll be home at midnight.
It was a wonderful trip. We didn't have much time to relax, there was just too much to see and too much to experience. New destinations like Oslo, Skagen, Aarhus, Ostend, Honfleur and Greenwich wanted to be discovered. And even in places we are already familiar with, such as Copenhagen, Bremerhaven, Amsterdam and London, there are always sights that we do not know yet.
The Azamara Journey gave us the right setting for this cruise. A small, fine ship that offers individualists like us the freedom they need. We particularly liked the smaller ports, the long lay times and overnight stays, the presence of officers and managers everywhere on the ship, the outdoor terrace of the buffet restaurant and the extraordinary AzAmazing Evening at the Amsterdam Naval Museum.