A few weeks ago I took a day trip to London leaving very early in the morning and returning late that night. This trip was part of my "reward" for taking care of the kids on my own for a month this summer, one of which had a broken arm that required surgery. I need to post about that whole ordeal sometime but it is all still a little to traumatic! Anyways, I digress....So, I headed to London to see Windsor Castle where my man Henry VIII is buried, to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and to see Kate's wedding dress which is on display at Buckingham Palace.
Getting to Windsor was a bit of a challenge as it is off the regular central London tube system that I feel pretty comfortable with. To get to Windsor from the airport I could either take an expensive cab ride or find a bus. I stopped off at the info desk to find where to catch my bus and found myself in an argument with the info lady who would not tell me anything until I gave her my full days' itinerary. She then proceded to tell me that there was no possible way to do all of those things in one day. I smiled politely and assured her that this was not my first time to London and I felt pretty confident with my schedule. After about five minutes of, oh no, no you won't have time/yes, yes I will's back and forth I caved and admitted to my folly of planning too much for one day and was able to attain the directions to my bus. Not to brag, but I had time and then some to see everything :)
Windsor is where the queen spends her weekends when she is in London, it is a fully functioning castle and was once lived in by the King John of the Robin Hood tales although I should note that that story is not at all how it happened. A lot of the "newer" portions of the castle and surrounding walls were built from the bricks obtained from the destruction of the monestaries when Henry VIII tossed the Catholic church by the wayside to marry Anne Boleyn. But, most importantly of all it is where this man, whith whom I have an unnatural obsession with is buried. I found his tomb in the chapel of this castle. This was no easy feat as it is nothing more than a black marble square in the floor. Apparently the actual coffin is under the floor in the crypt and yes, you can access it but only the high priest ever goes down there. And no, they never let anyone else down there no matter how much it would mean to them. And yes, when they say the gate to the crypt is locked, it really is. Even if you push on it really hard when no one is looking. You could totally climb the gate though if no one was around to care...I wonder what the least busiest day is at Windsor? Things to ponder, things to ponder.
While at Windsor I got to see the changing of the guard. I have not seen this at Buckingham where I think most people watch but it was kind of cool anyways. I do not know how they expect to protect anyone from anything when they can barely see out of those big, furry hats.
From Windsor it was on to central London. This was a bit trickier than coming from the airport but I got there and have included a picture from one of my train changes 'cause I was pretty proud that I did not have to resort to taking a cab. I went straight to the V&A museum and I don't know if my early morning was catching up to me but I found it....boring. It seemed disorganized and sprawling and there was way to much sculpture. On the plus side entry is free so at least I wasn't out any money. From the V&A I popped into Harrods to have some lunch. My dessert was the most amazing concoction I have ever seen and was worthy of a picture before I gobbled it up! I then jogged over to Buckingham to see the dress. I have already toured the palace and have seen the crown jewels and just wanted to see the dress. NOT because I was in a hurry or cutting it close on time(ok, info lady, I was a little bit, I stress the word little) but mostly because once was just enough! My jealousy of Kate and the fact that she will one day be queen was not helped by seeing her beautiful and very tiny waisted dress on display. I do have to laugh though when I think of the her showing the queen her wedding dress display and the queen saying she found it "creepy". Queen El II cracks me up, she is such a pill!
From Buckingham I headed back to the airport and had a nice kid free flight back to Dusseldorf. In a way I feel sorry for people who have never flown with small children, they have no horrible flight experiences of kids throwing up on them or crying the entire time to make flying by themselves so blissful. It was a great day and I will miss being able to do this when we no longer live here. Thanks to Ryan for taking the kids while I was gone!