Southern England: Impressions from Greenwich

Sangyu Deng travels to Greenwich to explore its identity.

Sangyu Deng
23rd October 2017

During my first ever trip to London five years ago, Greenwich left me with some of my happiest memories. Last month’s visit reassured me of its charm. on me as soon as I arrived. It is vibrant, refreshing and intimate. The streets are memorable, lined with unique shops and restaurants. Despite being so close to London, Greenwich has its own identity - away from the pressure of a big city.

Greenwich has its own identity - away from the pressure of a big city.

When I arrived at the riverbank, the distant sound of music stirred my curiosity. I followed it, and found myself at the music school of the Royal Naval College. As I entered through the archway, I was suddenly immersed in a strange ocean of tunes. The sound of violins, trumpets, saxophones, and guitars was pouring out of the windows, forming wild currents against the ordered stones.

Through another arch lies the river. The sky was grey, the river dull. But a beautiful scene was on the lawn: a man kneeling down on one knee next to a woman in joyous tears. I couldn’t hear their conversation, but an eager hug told me her answer.

Still, the sky was grey, the river dull. Until, gradually, the waves leapt higher, crashed harder, and suddenly erupted into a golden flame. The splashes charged with a fearless youth, clashing against the aged, green moss with such proud mockery that I felt everything was suddenly clear and full of energy. The golden colour seemed to have united the world.

The arrival of twilight offered me a third, thrilling surprise. After the gloaming dimmed, the sky bloomed into an intoxicating violet. The symmetrical towers of the college became silhouettes, framing a man in the central lane, and forming a perfectly balanced picture. What really made the scene was the subtle colour overhead- flowing, fleeting, unstructured. The man must have been stunned by the beauty, because he stayed still for some moments, until the appearance of another figure from the left. The human element of the picture became dynamic again. They walked, hand in hand, across the meadow; their conversations I couldn’t hear, but their hearts were reflected in the evening lights.

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