The National Maritime Museum – London

Today we are exploring a slightly less-known museum in London – the National Maritime Museum. The theme is in the name here and you will learn everything there is to know about the maritime history of Great Britain, from trading tea from East Indian in the 1700s to the World Wars.

The National Maritime Museum

The Museum can be found in the centre of Greenwich on the bank of Thames and a stone throw away from the Prime meridian. Which seems only appropriate for a place dedicated to boats and navigation across oceans. It is easy to spot with its giant boat in a bottle at the front.

Boat in a bottle The National Maritime Museum

You enter the National Maritime Museum in the rather grand Greenwich Park which is definitely worth a wander around before or after your visit.

The National Maritime Museum

The stunning ground floor reminds me of the British Museum with the huge room covered with a glass roof. It also set the stage for what is to come with entire boats and many vessel’s bows on display, some twice a normal human being size.

Boat at The National Maritime MuseumBoat bows at The National Maritime Museum

Some boats are particularly striking and some look like they belong to a James Bond movie.

Gold barge at The National Maritime MuseumSilver speed boat at The National Maritime Museum

Moving to the first floor, you will find the Great Map. It is often covered with children learning about the world and different countries.

The Great Map at The National Maritime Museum

The themed exhibitions surround the central room. My personal favourites are the Nelson and the Traders ones, but let me walk you through most of them so you can decide which one you don’t want to miss on your next visit!

The Atlantic at The National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is a bit smaller than most London museums so it is an easy one to visit if you have little time. It is also quite interactive which makes it perfect to explore with children.

On the ground floor, visit the Jutland 1916 exhibition. It is a touching one with many personal stories about what is known to be the largest sea battle of the World War I.

Jutland 1916 at The National Maritime Museum

On the first floor, explore the Traders and the Atlantic galleries which will take you on the trading route to Asia and the history of the West Indies. There you will learn about tea, spices and coffee trade as well as the complex relationship with the Caribbeans, including the movement of people and slavery.

Traders exhibition at The National Maritime MuseumTraders exhibition at The National Maritime MuseumAtlantic exhibition at The National Maritime Museum

On the third floor, you will find Nelson’s Trafalgar coat. He wore it the day he passed away and you can still see the bullet hole on his jacket. It also covers the life of what I discovered to be a man of principles with very strong values.

Nelson exhibition at The National Maritime Museum

The curators of the National Maritime Museum have done an excellent job making the different galleries very atmospheric. The East India Company exhibition has the warm orange tones of a beautiful sari while the World War II gallery feels cold and industrial like a submarine.

Atlantic exhibition at The National Maritime MuseumWWII exhibition at The National Maritime Museum

I hope you will enjoy the National Maritime Museum as much as I do, and after learning so much about Great Britain history reward yourself with a treat at the Greenwich market!

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Vibrant colors   Images Copyright ©RMC  September 2018

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been there before and I will return again – sopot, poland

…. so now I have reached the magical number 70!!!????? The new 50 they call it!!!!!

So how does it feel?????!!! To be honest, I will rather be 50 again, but age is like the weather …. not much I can do about it. Yes, just get on with it and make the best of it. *smile

Why I chose the exclusive and little extra for my birthday celebration was that … it was so complicated to get my absolute favourite spot from Sweden or Copenhagen. No direct flights. And the thought that change airport in Paris made the plans gone back in the draw. Last time I visit Biarritz was over my 60th birthday and I really miss it, but I don’t want to make myself sick by getting there. Have been visiting Biarritz since the middle of 70s. So many it was time to let go … move on. 

Both Sopot and Biarritz are small sea resorts – but very different. One built on black rocks and with at times 8 meter high Atlantic waves …. the other on miles of white sand and the more quite Baltic sea. Both exclusive playgrounds. Both have nearly the same population; Sopot 37,089 area 17.31 km2 (6.68 sq mi)  and Biarritz 25,397 area 11.66 km2 (4.50 sq mi). 

Sopot has the enriched and stately Grand Hotel, today owned by Sofitel,  that was originally built in 1924–1927.  Biarritz has The Hôtel du Palais (originally the Villa Eugénie), built in 1855 by Napoleon III for his Empress Eugénie around 1855 as a summer villa. Today converted into a 5* hotel and privately owned apartments.


Maybe it’s the similarity between the two resorts that make me feel so good in Sopot too. Both places famous for their seafood. But Sopot is only 55 min away from Malmoe airport with WizzAir and while to Biarritz 6 hours.  

My friend Anna Liisa and I was supposed to rent a 2 bedroom apartment just off the main street in Sopot, Monte Cassino … but when our landlord found out that Anna Liisa is nearly blind he wanted to make it more accessible for us and moved us to a brand new luxury apartment with elevator, which the other place didn’t have. “Grand Apartments Victoria Residence” – 2340PLN/5980SEK/€240/$630/£487 for 6 nights, no breakfast.

But that meant we got about 15-20 min walk to the main attraction, the famous pier, Molo w Sopocie. Not normally a distance for me,  but with my problem feet, it was tough. but on the other hand, I know the bus routes and the timetables by heart now. *smile

Our landlord informed us that making our own breakfast a waste of time and products because the cafes are so cheap. So we decided to follow his advice and only invested in some Tchibo coffee capsules to the fancy machine that was provided (Excellent German coffee), because we needed something to make our legs move in the morning. 

We found our little breakfast joint at the railway station, 1O min straight and even walk, “La Bagatela” (only Polish)A little French cafe where everything as made on site … insight. Fantastic coffee, baguettes and lovely staff.

There we spent about 60PLN/£12/$16/€14/150SEK every morning and we got great coffee, a big glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, grilled sandwich and a fancy croissant. I love the cinnamon one and Anna Liisa fancies the one filled with homemade raspberry jam.

The place was so busy, with both sitting down guest and just buying guests … they where constantly replenishing. 

The railway station had to entrances … one through the new station building and then in the other end of the platforms.

Very smart and that was the exit we used when we came off the trains, there was a little farmers market with superb fresh fruit and a Carrefour Express for the tonic water and milk.

At the farm market, we found punnets with wild strawberries – who could resist that??? Haven’t eaten genuine wild strawberries since I left my childhood. The lady told they were picked in Poland and they really tasted as they did in my childhood.

“One must ask children and birds
how cherries and strawberries taste.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“TAKIE JEST ŻYCIE” in English: “This is life” – very suitable title for this post … I think *smile


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