DAY 1: SUNDAY, AUGUST 21st

by grace on August 21, 2011

we flew out on Saturday, August 2oth, and flew into Heathrow.  Because i just can’t sleep on a plane, and it’s not so great for kevin either, I found a daytime flight.  i don’t know why there aren’t more flights during the day; it was awesome.  i wasn’t tired, i didn’t need to sleep, but by the time we got to England, it was 10:45 p.m. their time.  becuase we’d had to get up early for our flight, we were tired by the time we reached our lovely little hotel in the town of Winsdor.

I found that Windsor is only 11 miles from Heathrow, so decided that it would be good to go there first.  i read online that you should call a cab company for a good rate, so i had the name of a couple of Windsor companies.  i called the first one, and it picked us up after only about a 10 minute wait.  the guy was driving a nice volvo, and he wore a suit.  the ride only cost 16 pounds, a great deal, and the ride was quick.

we stayed at the Clarence Hotel, and had a very lovely little room.  it was reasonable, too, and we didn’t realize just how lovely and reasonable it was compared to our b&b in london until we got to that place.

here’s kevin at breakfast.  they served a full english breakfast – eggs, bacon or sausage, mushrooms, tomato, baked beans, toast, or you could get cereal.  but no porridge!  we’d gotten used to porridge in scotland, but they didn’t seem to serve it anywhere in england.  well, i’m sure they served it at fancier places.  i’m pretty sure, anyway.

it was a very nice breakfast room, and there was a charming courtyard in back, and i have video of it.  here kevin is wearing the same shirt he wore on our very first date!

after breakfast we walked over to Windsor Castle.  it was a very short walk, and there was a huge, huge line of people waiting to get in.  luckily i’d bought our tickets while still at home, so we didn’t have to queue at all.  it’s totally worth it to buy tickets ahead of time, because there seem to always be huge lines.

this is looking over at the royal apartments, where the royal couple stays when they’re at windsor.

this is a lovely garden all around the castle; it used to be a moat.

we saw queen anne’s dollhouse, and the line for that was annoying, and the crowd who went in to look at it was even more so; people kept pushing, and i know kevin hated that, and i wasn’t too keen on it either.  but i loved seeing the dollhouse, and i bought a book about it.  it has electricity and it’s very intricate and fabulous.

we weren’t allowed to take pictures or video anywhere inside.  after the dollhouse, we took a quick look around inside the castle, and it was beautiful but kind of crowded, but i’d signed us up for a special kitchen tour, so we had to leave the castle quickly.  a helpful and friendly guard showed us the way out so we could get to our tour.

a special tour is also something i recommend because it was a small group, maybe 20 people, and we got to go into the big kitchen where they prepare huge banquets.  i’d hoped there might be something going on there, but they never had tours when it’s filled with cooks.

there weren’t so many guards marching around outside, but we we luckily to see them changing!  i videotaped it, too.  much easier to see than the changing of the guard at buckingham palace.

it heated up during the day and by the time we were done with the castle we were kind of hot and tired.  we walked down the very crowded main street and tried in vain to find a restaurant without an hour-long wait.  because it was sunday, and summertime, the place was crawling with people.  we finally went to a starbucks and got sandwiches.

afterwards i wanted to go on a boat ride on the thames.  i had a map of the town, but for some reason we got lost trying to find the place with the docks, but after lots of backtracking, we finally found it.  we hopped on a boat just before it set sail.

because we got on the boat so late, we couldn’t sit in a seat next to the edge.  this stupid woman in front of me was sitting on the edge, hogging a coveted edge seat, and her companion was sitting in the edge seat in front of her!  a few people did this, and it just seemed rude.  here i think she’s videotaping and shooting a photo at the same time.

it was a nice ride, though, and a very pretty day.

the trip was maybe 40 minutes, and then we got our bags at the hotel and schlepped them to the train station.  my bag already seemed mighty heavy, but i think that’s the most we had to drag them during the trip.  we were going to get on a bus that was near the hotel, but because it was sunday the bus didn’t come very often, so we decided to walk all the way to the train station.  it wasn’t so bad, though, and once we were on the train, it was a good and fast ride into london.  Windsor is about 25 miles from London.

flying to england during the day instead of overnight was a great idea, and i hope that’s what we do whenever we go back.  we were kind of tired just because of the time change and because of all the sightseeing, but nothing like the crazy fatigue from not sleeping all night on a plane.

here’s my video of our day.

ok then,

mrs. hughes

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