Tuesday, March 31, 2015

day 6

Day six of our visit to London saw us catching a tour bus and leaving the city. Bus tours are not the way to see things if you can not resolve yourself to the idea that you only have about 90 minutes to explore each venue. Warp speed touring. Yep. It was the only way we would be able to see these three places as making full long day trips to each was not possible. We were happy to get a taste of each place and if we are ever able to return, would love to spend more time in two of the places.

Our first stop was Windsor. A royal residence, an adorable small town, and not that far out of London. Due to us touring in March, we were able to see several rooms that are closed to the public when the queen and family are at home. The castle is beautiful, the restoration work done there due to the devastating fire is amazing. The vistas from the windows are gorgeous. Beautiful place with beautiful spaces. The chapel on the grounds is where Henry VIII and Jane Seymour are buried. We stopped in there and then finished by watching a part of the changing of the guards.

Back on the bus to eat our picnic lunch and enjoy the drive to Stonehenge. Along the way we went past Ascot racecourse, a town with thatched roofed buildings, and assorted quaint pubs.

Stonehenge is on the Salisbury Plain. And it is plain. Wide open and flat, except for the barrows dotting the countryside. You catch a shuttle bus at the visitor's center to access the stones. The walk way around them offers you various views of the henge. One side of the walk curves in fairly close to them. They are stunning. It is a magical place, not in that you get any vibe from the stones, but in just knowing how old these man-made structures are. The weather was perfect for our visit. Clear blue skies and blustery.

Back on the bus, wanted more time to peruse their museum, but I spent too much time pondering the stones. Now we were on our way to Bath. The drive down was again quite scenic. Saw a Norman church, lots of sheep and lambs, some military vehicles and tanks on field exercises, and cute cottages.

Bath is a resort town from old. Like old as in Roman times. The bath itself is rather impressive. The statues and engineering are really wonderful. The contrast of the Roman statues against the backdrop of Bath Cathedral was awesome. I could spend days in Bath just exploring all those windy, cobblestone streets. Oh, and Johnny Depp has a place there!

We managed to visit a small pub before we got on the bus and had a pint and rested. Nice! Then it was back on the bus for the 2.5 hour drive back to London.

We left at 7:15 and were back in our flat by 8:30 PM. A long day filled with wonderful things.

It was worth it.

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