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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Day 11 - London - Windsor Castle - Eton College

Main entrance protected by machine gun guards

Overhead view of Windsor Castle and Thames River

The changing of the guard every half hour with machine guns

Lulu always finds these cute little libraries
Wednesday afternoon in England was a beautiful one. The temperature barely reached 70 - the breezes were strong - and the sky usually sunny - with a few bouts of overcast - that looked like rain but didn't fall. Our two week stay at 11 Bedford Place is winding down. We are getting a bit of melancholy with having to leave.

Windsor Castle was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. It is the largest continuously occupied castle in the world - almost 1000 years old. It is Queen Elizabeth's favorite home - she spends weekends and summers here. It is about 25 miles from our apartment downtown - it took us about 45 minutes by train - the Queen can do it in a few minutes in the Royal Chopper.

The castle extends from right in the middle of Windsor town - out thru the countryside along the Thames River. It was originally designed as a stronghold to protect the river and as a refuge for royalty. During WWII - King George spent much of his time here away from the Nazi bombing. 

When we got there - there was a line about 2 hours long to pay the 20 pound fee to enter- I took my pictures and was ready to walk away. But Lulu went online to buy tickets for 18 pounds (pensioner rate) and we passed the line and went right in with our iPhone tickets. We spent about 2 hours touring the various rooms - full of furniture. About 500 people live and work in the castle. There are plenty of apartments of guests. The flag was up - so the queen was there while we were - she did not greet us with tea and cookies. 

You were allowed to take pictures of the outside area - but they did not want you to photograph inside. I did not see the "do not photo" signs for a while and no one stopped me until Lulu pointed it out.

I liked Windsor Castle much better than Hampton Court and Buckingham Palace. I particularly like St George Chapel - which is a giant cathedral. Many of the recent kings and queens are buried there - Queen Mary - Jane Seymour (Henry VIII's wife) - King George (the stuttering king) - and many more. I expect Queen Elizabeth will be tombed there. 

An interesting note - your 20 pound ticket can be stamped to be a year pass for free. You can come back again and again without paying for a year. 

After the castle tour - we walked the streets of Windsor - a very nice place to shop. We also walked to Eton College - about a mile away. 

Eton College - is an exclusive boys boarding school - ages 13 to 18. It costs about $50,000 a year if you can get in. Prince Harry - Prince William - Boris Johnson - David Cameron - are some of the recent grads. After Eton - a usual stop would be Oxford or Cambridge - in the educational chain - a few steps up form Tamaqua High and Kutztown State Teachers College.

The college has beautiful old grounds along the Thames River. After that we had a nice Italian supper with a full view of the Castle and the street full of tourists. After a few glasses of wine and a delightful meal - we slept the way home. 

The walls of Windsor
With 500 people living in castle - a lot of car traffic
thru main gate

Ticketed visitors enter another gate

Castle Keep in center

Royal quarters

Several walls behind walls with streets - some walls
to keep enemy out - some to keep tourists out

Lulu between two main walls
Enemy - Tourist - Queen
Tiny slits for firing rifles

The moat has been filled in and gardened

Royal Guards

The next several pictures are
of Queen Mary's doll house


This area burned in 1992

Steps entering royal ballrooms

Large lawn being watered

This guard is protecting this lawn - queen must be nearby

Lulu and Harry at royal lawn

Small computers narrated trip

I liked this small electric Mega truck

electric truck

There were thousands of tourist at 20 pounds each

Middle Ward Gift Shop

Glass in St George Chapel

St George Chapel near main entrance

Lots of famous graves in St George Chapel

View from old Main entrance in castle 

Queen Victoria lived here and loved Windsor.
They changed family name to House of Windsor

Royal shopping across street

Lots of flower hangings

We have been having perfect weather

You could ride a duck into the Thames
Fabulously British - good helps those
that love themselves
Bad picture of a really nicely restored Citroen.
2 cylinder - air cooled - FWD
The route from our home in London
to Windsor Castle

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