Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Queen" and "The Stones" Really Rock! Part I

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

     Today we went on a bus tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford. To keep things short, and therefore, hopefully interesting, I'll just blog on one site per day. So today, we'll start with Windsor Castle.

     First, however, I want to recommend the tour company we booked through. It's called Golden Tours and if you're in England and want to get out of the city, but don't want to drive, this is the way to go. Our tour was to the above mentioned places, but the company offers many other packages. We had such a nice time, that I do recommend this company. Also, our guide, Susan, was as delightful and caring as you could dream up, and our driver, Alan, did an amazing job driving around the countryside in rain and horrid traffic! He even made a special stop for my family and another family so that we could get home quicker than we would from the stop they were scheduled to drop us off at. And we didn't even ask for the special treatment; they are just that caring about their customers.

   But, onto the blog!

   As previously mentioned, we had a lovely tour guide named Susan, who was a delight to listen to as we rode along through London and the countryside on our way to Windsor Castle. Susan is a tiny lady, so when we'd follow her as a group, she'd raise her very colorful umbrella so we could always see ahead to where she was. Between her colorful personality and her colorful umbrella, we felt like we were being led around by Mary Poppins, and it was adorable.     

  On our bus ride to Windsor Castle, we drove through much of London. We drove through Knightsbridge, where some of the richest people in the world reside, and home to Harrods, and the Berkeley Hotel where the rich and famous stay, including Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington and his family, who, according to Susan, were there recently.

   Windsor Castle is amazing and HUGE! Unfortunately, only select portions of the castle are open to tourists: Queen Mary's Dollhouse and the Staterooms.  We were supposed to get to tour St. George's Chapel where Henry VIII and and his third and favorite wife (because she was the only one who gave him a son), Jane Seymour are buried, but being Sunday, it was closed for prayer services. (It's on my list to do next time. LOL!) Pictures were not allowed inside, and we didn't tour any areas that the present Queen actually uses, but we did see her residence from the outside (she wasn't in residence that day.)  Pictures below.

Our tour guide, Susan.

Small chapel on street leading to Windsor Castle

Street leading to Windsor

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

The Queen's Residence. See her waving in the window? LOL!

St. George's Chapel

St. George's Chapel at Windsor

Still on the Windsor Castle grounds. It's huge!
On the ride from Windsor Castle to Stonehenge we drove through the countryside (Windsor/Berkshire) owned by the Queen, and saw sheep grazing on the hillside and the homes where the people who work at Windsor live. We also drove by the Royal Ascot Racecourse, but were a week late to see actual Ascot take place. Oh well, next time.

    Tomorrow's blog: Stonehenge!   

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