Tuesday, August 31, 2010

London Day 3

This morning we had to be at Victoria station at 8:30 to check in for the bus tour. We were going to Windsor, Bath, and the famous Stonehenge. After a brick of a croissant at the little market in the station, we checked in at the gate. Our tour guide was an older British gentleman by the name of Geoff G. He had a wonderful manner and wit and mentioned a couple of times his fondness for gin. He got on my good side quickly. The other people in our group seemed nice but we didn't really converse with any of them. There was one couple with an adorable infant who with bright blue eyes and only two bottom teeth managed to win over the entire group almost immediately.

Our first stop was Windsor Castle, but Mom was not at home. So we had to be content to tour with the other commoners. I'm convinced had she been there we would have rushed to each other in a warm embrace.

We saw the royal china collection, the royal saber collection, the impressively intricate Queen Mary's dollhouse, the King's bed chamber, the queen's presence room, the queen's receiving room, and many other dizzying and ornately decorated rooms with ceilings that had to be 30 feet or more. I only hoped a coat of arms in the coat of arms room would not fall from the ceiling and brain me.

We also happened to be there on the day and time of the changing of the guard, this time with less of the continent to contend with and therefore much better photo opportunities.

We made our way to Stonehenge, but first stopped off at a little inn and restaurant where they served us lunch of tea, chicken pie, fish pie, and strawberries and cream. It was lovely... as was the waiter.

Stonehenge was amazing. There's just no getting around it. Geoff G. kept saying "it's not as big as you'd think," but I found it to be bigger, though perhaps he set me up to be underwhelmed. Not too many words that really relay the feeling one gets. I have always wanted to visit this place so it was a dream come true.

Our last stop was the city of Bath, where we visited the roman bath built there in, well I can't remember after the beer...s, but it was rather some time ago. The museum was quite cool the way they have it set up and the excavation appears to still be in progress, so the potential for future discoveries could bode well for a repeat visit.

We only had another half hour to walk around the heart of town, so we opted for delicious chocolates and a stroll by the park. We didn't have much time before we had to return to the city, but it was still a nice trip.

The countryside is beautiful. There are the most amazing trees with the great gnarled and twisty branches, that if you drew this tree people would say "oh come on, trees don't look like that!" buy I'm here to tell you they do! You could spend days documenting the country side, how a view looks when the sunlight hits it just so, or when the clouds are cooperating beautifully with a church spire, and always want more.

We had beers and fish and chips and an assortment of other tasty things at the Green Man pub and it was delicious. I ate waaay too much and drank almost enough, so I guess it evens out.

Tomorrow is our last day in London, and I am somewhat sad to leave, since I just started to figure things out a bit. In the evening we depart for the final leg of our trip in downtown Paris.

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