Today was the perfect day for this excursion. A bright, sunny autumn day with perfect skies. I got the train to Woolwich Arsenal (fell asleep on the train, and almost missed my stop, which almost usurped the subject of today's post by almost being the first time I did this, in general terms I'm just too organised to miss my stop).
Anyway. Reached Woolwich and got the lift to the top of the Greenwich Council Offices on the river, in advance of a meeting I had there. The view from the top is breath-taking: right down across the river, with a stunning view of the Dome, Canary Wharf, City Airport and most beautifully the Thames Barrier, which controls London from flooding. Actually I have no idea what it does so, mental note to self, I must check out its visitor centre sometime. It looks a bit like lots of tiny Sydney Opera Houses, floating on the water. Check it out for yourselves.
I spent about 20 minutes watching the planes take off and land from City Airport, just across the river from where I was. In order to avoid hitting tall buildings, they take off steeply and serve in a most unnerving manner. Stunning.
So: points for thinking 'London really is gorgeous' for once, instead of my usual 'Jeez! Why is London so busy? Why are people so rude? Why do the National Slow Walking Championships always take place when I am trying to get down a street quickly?' etc. : 8.
Points for being able to watch planes for a while without actually having to get in one (hurrah!): 7.