London, Day 2

Trip Start Jul 07, 2009
Trip End Jul 26, 2009

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today was tour day. We left early to catch a tour bus from Victoria station and headed out of the city to Windsor Castle, the country home of the Queen. It is a magnificent estate and I'm so glad we got to see it. We toured the state apartments and viewed the beautiful rooms, furnishings, paintings, dishes, arms, armour, etc. As we were leaving that part of the castle we managed to catch the changing of the guard. Then we walked down to St. George's chapel where we viewed the spot where King Henry VIII is buried. Also saw the grave sites of George VI and his wife Mary (queen's father and mother), the Queen's grandparents and many other members of the royal family.

From Windsor we travelled another hour or so to Stonehenge. It was wonderful, even though you can't get very close to it. The weather wasn't really great so there weren't too many people. It is quite an awe inspiring site and bogles the mind to think how people who didn't even have the wheel were able to transport 14 ton stones from a distance of 240 miles away to this site and then erect them. Only about half of the original monument stones are still there. I guess ancient people chipped away at the stones to use for building material. And it is still quite a mystery as to the real purpose of the site. Lots of guesses but no none knows for sure. I'm so glad that I got to see it. It is a site with a spiritual quality and there were groups of people sitting around on the grass who appeared to be praying or meditating or......

After Stonehenge we were off to the city of Oxford, a very interesting and historic place. Oxford university is actually composed of over 30 different colleges, each with their own buildings and land. The public is not allowed into the buildings but we toured the grounds and common areas. We ended our tour day with a delicious cream tea at one of the Oxford pubs. This was defintiely a place I would like to spend more time. Cathy Orton, I kept thinking about how much you would love this place.

Our hotel in London is a quaint place in a good location. Quite central and it is easy to get around from there. The metro is only steps away. The owners are very helpful and the breakfasts are quite delicious. Cathy Norrie, thanks for recommending it to us.
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