Remember when I said my best travel tip was to make a great itinerary -- then blow it to bits? Well, Windsor sort of happened that way. But it was all good!
We arrived by train and found our B&B first, the delightful Dee and Steve's. It was a lovely room with a sitting area at hand and not too far from the center of Windsor so we walked back.
If you've been following these travel posts (logged at the menu bar on the top if you want to check any others out) you will know I was walking around on ruptured tendons and a seriously swollen ankle. Let's just say I wasn't operating well on both feet and no wheelchairs available! So, instead of heading to the castle, we took a cruise! Brilliant idea, Rick!
And it was the best thing we could have done. It was a glorious day, just perfect. Blue skies, loads of birds.
The Thames was bustling with sights and activity. We spotted Eton...
...Royal Windsor Racecourse (not Ascot...)
...houseboats and barges...
...and of course, Windsor Castle.
I was enamored with the swans and birds.
It was a short walk to town from there. Windsor is largely a tourist town, I think. At least that's what we say. Harry and Meghan things were seriously marked down and there were loads of people. I'd had to make a tough decision. Did I visit the castle and dollhouse I longed to see or skip it. And I skipped it for two reasons. First, I wasn't sure I could make it through the castle with my foot. And second, the dollhouse was closed for renovation. That was the deal breaker! So we shopped around and had tea!
The Drury House was a rather tea room and very charming.
The scone was delicious, the tea warm and welcome.
And I was glad to sit down!
We walked about town for a bit, enjoying the sites, picking up a few souvenirs. (This, we learned, was a chain shop, but it had very nice things!)
Then it was time for Evensong. I would get into at least one part of Windsor Castle I wanted to see -- St. George's Chapel.
As we were planning, we had considered morning services there if we didn't do Evensong -- or maybe even if we did. But when we saw the Queen's standard flying, we knew she was in residence and had been told that they didn't do public Sunday services on those days. So Evensong it was.
And it was wonderful. If you watched the Harry-and-Meghan wedding on television, you saw inside this venerable chapel which was built in the 14th century by King Edward III. Our seats for this beautiful service were right in front of the altar where Meghan's mother sat and directly across from the seats of the Royal Family.
The service itself was beautiful and was one of my highlights of the entire trip. The chapel was exquisite and as we left we walked over a plaque in the Quire that said that beneath the stone, Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, Charles I and the stillborn son of Queen Anne were buried there. (Numerous other royals were buried at the altar.) When we emerged, the shadows were long...
...but we spent some time looking around the yard, taking it all in.
Truly beautiful and a perfect evening.
We headed back to our B&B after, first stopping by a wine store, which was rather delightful.
Then we enjoyed dinner at the Duke of Connaught pub.
Yes, a real English pub with good beer -- and pretty much an entirely Thai menu! It was one of our best meals!
And our breakfast the next day was pretty fantastic, too!
Windsor really is a lovely city and I'd love to return and take in the castle next time. There is tremendous "color"...
....and a great sense of royal history, old...
...and new, which fascinates me.
One last story. As we hit the train station, preparing for our Oxford journey, Rick was checking on tickets and platforms. I was looking around and came back with a great discovery! An enormous group of cyclists -- and I would guess around 100 people -- were all stopped for tea at the station's cafe. (Well, of course! It was a glorious day and they were out on their rides!)
I found Rick to show this magnificent discovery and being Rick, he immediately made friends with a few and joined them!
(I went out and enjoyed one last look at Windsor.)
And will eagerly await my return!
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