Despite the recent excitement with the bomb scare in Wetherby this week, we decided not to let it put us off urban caching and headed straight to London this Saturday for some urban hides.
Caching in Greenwich
We were particularly attracted to Greenwich as there were 3 virtuals, a good handful of traditionals and a wherigo in the vicinity to keep us busy for the morning. We started with the virtual Whisky Galore at the Cutty Sark which unfortunately wasn’t a very exciting virtual as the ship is all boarded up whilst they are doing work to restore it after it caught fire in 2007. The ship is costing millions to restore so should look fabulous once they have finished. It’s nice that the CO has been able to modify the virtual to keep it alive during the work though.
Next it was on to Maritime Greenwich where we started our Wherigo and the Greenwich Hemispheric Exploration virtual. At the start we saw 13 famous travellers carved into the building. A very impressive addition to the building.
We followed our mini tour around the area and picked up the 11 Gates of Greenwich caches that surrounded the area. They weren’t very exciting hides, but were easy finds and easy retrievals and made our trip down there worthwhile. There were some nice additions to the area with anchors, canons, and statues of famous navigators all around.
Next we headed to The Royal Observatory, a real tourist hotspot and the Royal Observatory Greenwich Cache virtual. Here we found The Prime Meridian line. There was a line outside and one inside that you can pay to see. We opted for the one outside where there were no tourists. It was very interesting to see that our GPSr measures the coordinates as W000 00.088 on this line, rather than W000 00.000 as you would expect on the prime meridian, right? Well, as well as taking our photo at the line it was also our task to research why this was. It was very interesting to learn about and something I hadn’t realised so a really great virtual. I can understand why it’s got over 200 favourite points!
Despite there being many tourists around the area, it didn’t stop one little squirrel sitting on a bin having a nibble. Everyone ignored him and he could happily munch away unnoticed before scarpering off.
Caching in Central London
We don’t often do multi’s. It’s not that we don’t like them, it’s just hard to find the good ones. It’s not always fun walking around getting numbers from benches and fire hydrants, but it is EXTREMELY fun pottering around the British Library gathering clues, which is where we headed for The British Library multicache. This is the only ‘large’ cache in zone 1 London so it was absolutely a must-do.
The cache owner had also really thought about the placements of the clues as it took you on a really interesting tour of the library in the process. To be honest, never being there before I just thought that The British Library was simply an extrememly large library which included rare books. In fact it’s more like a museum with exhibits and some amazing books. We started off outside in the plaza at a massive statue of Nelson, and then continued inside to see an amazing 3D painting called Paradoxymoron.
The next stop was the Sir John Ritblat Gallery which was our favourite part of it. Here we found many historical books in the “Treasures of the British Library” exhibition. There were original sacred texts, science publications with drawings of plants and fish, famous literature and manuscripts. The details and colours on the books were absolutely breath taking and as photographs weren’t allowed seeing really is believing.
The centerpiece of the library was “The Kings Library” which ran through the middle up all of the floors. This was a collection of 85,000 books donated by George III.
After we had gathered our clues we went outside the library to find the next stage – a keysafe with instructions on where in the library to find the final big stash. This was probably the hardest part of it all as 15 minutes later and we still had no cache. The GPSr was really bouncing around with the massive library building near by and despite behaving all morning it just couldn’t get a fix. We checked the satellite maps on my iPhone for where the coordinates pointed and they showed a spot which didn’t look likely to be hiding a cache. We expanded our search area slightly and followed our noses. It was a few minutes later that I found it! Phew! I think I must have had 1 number wrong which put us about 50ft off. I was so delighted to have found it as it had taken us about an hour to gather all of the clues (We did take our time though as we were really enjoying it!) We went back into the library and made a quick find of our big prize at the end! 😀 I expected to feel very uncomfortable retrieving it, but it felt quite natural and don’t think anyone would suspect you if they saw you doing it. It’s certainly not a cache that could get muggled as there are security on the door who would stop any would-be theives.
We couldn’t top that brilliant cache, so we pottered around London doing some urban caching. Mostly film cans behind signs. That was ok though, as I quite often enjoy those easy hides. We did however find a particularly well crafted cache along part of the canal which was shaped like a narrow boat.
We finished by walking up to Camden which is where we’d slowly headed cache by cache after The British Library. Camden is our favourite place to finish a day caching in London as there are some fabulous food places there. We sat by the canal to finish the day with poshrule’s Twit Twoo TB who had been with us for the day! 🙂