Heathrow Terminal 6

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, April 21, 2011

While one of my friends from South Carolina was visiting Europe for a few weeks, we took a day off from London sightseeing to venture over to Windsor, namely Windsor Castle, one of the most famous royal residences. We took the train out to Windsor with relative ease, but as we were exploring the charming tourist town that is Windsor (with a little less than 30,000 residents), we couldn't help but notice as a bus unloaded what was probably the entire population of India out right in front of the castle.  We took this opportunity to grab lunch and continue meandering around the little streets of city center Windsor.

The original Windsor Castle was built after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century.  Over subsequent centuries, upgrades and additions were continuously made by the various monarchs to update the design, or, in some cases, merely make the castle appear more grandiose.  Recently, the castle was subjected to a horrible fire in 1992 that destroyed about 9 of the state rooms and caused significant damage to countless other rooms.  The rooms damaged by the fire were restored to their original design, with some minor modern influences included during the reconstruction.

In the 15th century, the castle became home to the large, impressive St. George’s Chapel.  The chapel serves has the final resting place for much of the royal family, including King Henry VIII and most recently Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

No photography was allowed inside the castle’s state apartments and diplomatic rooms, and they were significantly more protective of this rule than other places I’ve visited.  Needless to say, the inside of the castle was immaculate and impressive.  The walls were lined with imposing arrays of weaponry from spears, to bows, to firearms.  The hallways were spacious and wide, filled with statues of previous monarchs and war heroes, as well as gifts from other nations across the globe.  There is also a massive dollhouse that was gifted to Queen Mary, who apparently loved miniatures.  The dollhouse is entirely to scale size and features tiny objects that actually work.  It also includes small works of art such as books and portraits recreated by the original artists to scale.

Overall, Windsor and the accompanying Windsor Castle made for a fantastic day out of London; however, it was only hampered by the incredibly loud whooshing that accompanied each and every plane that flew over from Heathrow every 15 minutes.  The castle was impressive, to say the least, and entirely worth the visit and cost.  The only  other downside was our return train that was merely two carriages long.  We were all wedged inside the boiling car the entire journey back to London which almost ruined the whole thing.  Other than that, it was a perfect day.
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