Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 6: the queens house and a walk

Well as you probably know, Chris and I have made it home safely and have caught up a bit on our rest.   However, we still have some updating to do!  Lets go back to Tuesday and let me tell you about the final day of our trip. 

The last day of our vacation was planned around a train ride to Windsor and Windsor Castle, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth.  She isn’t currently “in residence” so we were able to take a tour of the State Apartments while we were there.   The first thing that strikes you when you see the castle is the enormous size of it because it just seems to stretch on for miles!


We arrived just as the ticket center opened so we were lucky and missed most of the crowds.  We had read that there could be some fierce lines so we made a beeline straight to the State Apartments for the main tour. 

One great thing about the tour was that it included another special exhibit of artwork related to Henry VIII.  We really enjoyed browsing through the drawings and artwork and then we made our way into the main tour through the Queen’s apartments.  No photography here but I can describe them simply by telling you they looked exactly as you would expect a queen’s house to look…opulent and beautiful. 




We have a lot of these self taken pictures and started to refer to them as the “Ingram Special”.







Once we had made it through the interior castle tour, we raced outside just in time to catch the changing of the guard.  That’s where the video of the band playing 2 posts ago came from.  It’s a neat  ceremony and the band was pretty good.  The rain had stopped just as the ceremony had started.




Some of the grounds and landscaping at Windsor Castle look just like something out of a fairy tale. If you look closely in this picture you’ll see a little waterfall. I can only imagine what this garden will look like when all of the flowers are in bloom.  I tried to take notes so I could try to emulate some of the landscaping at home.








This is an interior courtyard.









We finished up our day at Windsor Castle with a visit to the Royal Chapel which is inside the castle grounds. It’s exquisite on the inside and seemed the perfect ending to our week in England because one of the last things we saw here in the chapel was the burial place of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour….a fitting ending of a week dedicated to Henry VIII exhibits.



Our parting view of the castle. After we left we picked up some lunch and headed out to catch a train back into London and decided how to finish our day.  Chris really wanted to do a little more beachcombing so we did a little more pipe hunting and then walked back towards St. Paul’s Cathedral.



Sadly St. Paul’s had already closed for the day and this was really the only thing I think we would have liked to have fit in.  We sure saw a lot but this would have been great to tour.  We got some nice pictures of the exterior though.   We also took a quick peek at the Museum of London but didn’t stay long.  By this time we were a bit tired and knew we had to pack for the trip home, so we decided to take one more walk through the city and call it a day. 

We started our walk on the Strand at Trafalgar square and walked all the way through the city to our hotel. It took a couple hours but was worth it to catch a few more sites, including the motorcade of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.


We also took a picture of the Royal Courts of Justice which were really pretty and a lot fancier than the not very royal courts of Jacksonville.  Once we arrived back at our hotel we popped into M&S where we picked up a little carrot cake for my birthday and then set about packing for the trip home.  It was a great birthday and an even greater vacation.   

This is not quite the end of the story.  I’ll finish my story of the nearly arrested tour guide and wrap up our vacation story with a few funny pictures tomorrow night.  Stay tuned….

1 comment:

  1. What a dream trip! It's so nice that you and Chris enjoy so many of the same things. You are both making memories that will last a lifetime.



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