Our first whole day in London we ventured out to buy an Oyster card so we could tube our way around the city. Things started out great. We went to Notting hill to the Portobello Market wich was quite fun. We scouted around a little and went to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
While there we met a wonderful woman who told us what not to miss at the museum. Later she talked to us again before we left. We have met the very nicest, friendliest people!
We got up early Sunday for our first coach trip to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Oxford only to find out that we were too late and the coach left already. I had gotten the times of our two trips mixed up. Fortunately, again a very nice woman from the tour company just transferred us to a tour the next day. It was beautiful out so we made our way to Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Park.
Of course we were late to see the changing of the guard. Theme of the day: late. We found a great place for a pub kind of lunch and over a couple of beers we relaxed and just enjoyed.
Our trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford was great. The Queen was at Windsor but she didn’t come down to the State Rooms to greet us. She’s the only one who’s been a bit standoffish. The castle was great. We lacked the time to see St. George’s chapel where Harry and Megan were married. It looked beautiful. Our second stop of the day was Stonehenge. We had no rain but it was pretty cold in the wind. The big stones are pretty cool. It was getting dark by the time we hit Oxford. Daylight savings time ended here on Sunday. The colleges making up Oxford University are in old lovely buildings. Bodleian library impressed me the most. Christopher Wren, don’t you know. We did not go inside any of the buildings but seeing all the colleges but Magdalen was awesome.
Our next coach tour was to Leeds Castle, The white cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury Cathedral. Leeds Castle is a medieval castle which King Edward IV gave to one of his loyal subjects. The white cliffs of Dover are very pretty and we had a great sunny day for it. They shine in the light. Lucky me, I found some beach glass on the shore of the English Channel. Canterbury Cathedral is surrounded by scaffolding. Hearing the story of St. Thomas Beckett and seeing the exact place he was murdered was pretty cool.The trip on the tube from the coach station to our hotel was a real experience. A train had broken down and the platform was totally full of people. A train finally came after about 15 minutes and it was totally full. Sardines packed into a can. And we got on.
Our next adventure was to the Tower of London. We spent the whole day there. It was amazing. The Crown Jewels are worth a look and the white tower is pretty impressive. The Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) give a short tour and ours was hilarious! We also looked around at a bunch of other stuff and had audio guides. We went home for a short rest and then out to see Phantom of the Opera. That was a lot of fun! The best Phantom yet.
We also went to the British Library and saw the Magna Carta along with other beautiful and noted works. Westminster Abbey was really wonderful and full of history and art. Both places did not allow photos. Here’s Westminster from the outside.