Monday, October 21, 2013

Day trip to Windsor

 IF we are only here for a year, that means that we are 1/4 of the way done with our stay in London! After looking at all of the benefits of living here, we do hope to stay in London longer, but we really won't know for awhile what will happen!

After realizing how quickly our time is flying, we have really been trying to see and do as much as possible. One huge advantage of being here is the train system. You can go anywhere in the UK at the drop of a hat for a relatively inexpensive price (12 pounds per person for the roundtrip to Windsor). Since Windsor is only an hour train ride away, we decided to go there on Saturday morning.


We arrived without a hitch. It was so easy! Just show up to station, buy your ticket, buy some snacks for the ride, and wait for the train (most trains taking you outside of London depart about every 30 minutes. No need to plan in advance!). We got to Windsor and quickly realized that the air is fresher there and the pace is slower. Kind of the norm for any city compared to London, I suppose!

We decided to immediately go to the Windsor castle. It is 1000 years old, making it the oldest (and largest) castle in the world that is still functioning as living quarters for royalty. The queen lives there regularly.

 We couldn't get over how HUGE it was- it seems to take up the whole city! We were only able to tour a fraction of the castle. Also, we weren't able to take any pictures of the insides, which is really annoying- I wanted to take a picture of the queen's doll house, and Daniel would have liked to have taken a picture of the thousands of guns, swords, and armor that were on display. However, most of the rooms looked just like Hampton Court on the inside. I'm guessing they got renovated at about the same time!

 Really, my favorite part was just walking around outside, despite the rain we were having. I loved looking out the little "windows" that were on the castle's wall. It was a tiny slant of a hole in stone, which I learned was for the men to shoot arrows though if anyone was trying to siege the castle.

 These gorgeous gardens are where the moat used to be. It would have been neat if the moat was still there!
I wanted a picture by the fall tree.

Daniel insisted that we have another picture of me posing with the audio guide like a cheese ball

 I am so excited for the trees to all fully show their foliage! One wonderful thing that happens here and doesn't happen so much in Houston. I might haven mentioned this already, but supposedly the trees are changing later than normal because we had such a warm and long summer. By the way, this is the view from the castle walls. I see that it would have been hard for any trespassers to have gotten in!
You can kind of see the soldier to the left.

 It was really exciting (and kind of intimidating) seeing the soldiers. The men in the bottom picture were marching to relieve the soldier in the first picture and to change guards. Every move that they made was in unison. There were guards all over the castle and people loved walking up and getting their picture with the stoic faced men. I felt a little disrespectful doing, I didn't want the guard to snap...they didn't look happy in the slightest!

We also got to tour the chapel. It looked exactly like every other chapel I have been through while being in the UK. Again, no photography was allowed, which was strange...because every other chapel that I've been in has allowed it.
 After seeing enough of the castle, we walked around Windsor for a bit. I was hoping to stumble across some cool market or antique store, but all of the shops were pretty lame. We did enjoy walking around though and looking at all of the buildings, especially the crooked little house.

 We intended to grab food while in Windsor, but we ended up being done with everything around 4, and didn't want to eat that early! We stopped at a cute pub and had a pint, then took the train back to London!

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