To Greenwich     

Saturday, 22 July 2023

Our journey from home to Greenwich (London) was very pleasant, but unusual. Our now friend and long-time chauffeur service, Bob (Grove Chauffeurs)  collected us from home at around 8:30am, with his charming wife, Shirley, and off we went. His (it appeared at the time) highly sophisticated Mercedes sat-nav, set about planning the route.

All went well until the Reading area when it entered what we came to believe was “taxi driver mode”.  We left the M4  and travelled along, what appeared to be at the time to be, a strategic plan to avoid central London. But, after a scenic trip through Bagshot, we joined the M3 and were routed back to the M4 via the hell-on-Earth M25. If we hadn’t left the M4, we would have missed the joys of an hour of unnecessary traffic queues!

Then the fun really started - “Lets,” thought this German master of the highways, “give them a tour of all the parts of South London that most sane humans would avoid. 

We went into central London, via Earls Court, crossed the river Thames and then journeyed though what seemed like 100 traffic lights (all red) in the heard of, but never seen, boroughs of south London - around 2 hours to travel about 25 miles!

Eventually (it seemed like it would never happen), we reached Greenwich. As we pulled up in an obscure little side street, a young man appeared.  “Are you sailing with Viking?”  He called for two baggage handlers who took the luggage from Bob’s boot and directed us to the check-in marquee.  Friendly and straightforward check-in saw us waiting for the Tender to the ship in just a few minutes. 

Not as simple as it might have been because Viking was sharing the pier with the Uber Thames cruisers. A lot of confusion, caused by day-trippers seeing the Viking line as a simple queue-jumping opportunity, led to a lot of unnecessary arm waving and  “exchanges of viewpoints”.

Once onboard, everything settled into a Viking experience. Room steward changing cabin arrangements to suit us. Lunch and dinner good (better?)  as ever.

Off to the Tower of London tomorrow. The weather can only get better!!!