Day four of our journey would be the last full day we spent in England. After yet another sleepless night (thanks to a faulty fire alarm) we were up bright and early for the bus ride to Stonehenge. Upon arrival, we were given headsets. Visitors walked along a fairly narrow but even path in a circle around the ruins. Along the way, there were several markers with numbers that corresponded to a recording on our headsets. The narration detailed several aspects of Stonehenge, including speculation as to why and how it was built.
Because the visitors listen to the tour through headsets, the site is very quiet and peaceful. As you might notice, it was also fairly easy to get photos without a ton of strangers in the shot.
This was one of the things I most looked forward to seeing during our trip, and I’m glad I did if only for the photo. Having been there and done that, though, I don’t see the need to return. The narrated tour via the headset was informative to a point. I guess I just found that the other sites we visited were far more interesting. I suppose in part that’s due to the very limited concrete information we have about Stonehenge. What it is and how it was built is anybody’s guess. For me, all the speculation just isn’t as interesting as the rich history and true stories we heard at the other sites we visited.
With Stonehenge behind us, we headed back to Foxhills for lunch. En route, the Adventure guides played a great documentary about the royal family. I wish I would have asked for the title. It was a succinct history of Queen Elizabeth II and her descendants, including the scandals and tragedies that have befallen the royals. Perhaps most interesting were the details about how much has changed during Queen Elizabeth’s reign, and how she has had to adapt to a whole new set of modern ways while still upholding the tradition and dignity of the monarchy. I’d totally watch it again if only I could remember the name!
The video was meant to give us some background for the site we would visit later in the day: Windsor Castle.
Confession: sightseeing isn’t among my favorite vacation activities. I’m typically geared more towards adventure–ziplining through a Colorado tree canopy or riding mules up a mountainside in Alaska. I have to say, though, that visiting and learning about these age-old sites in and around London was absolutely fascinating. Windsor Castle, for example, has been around since the 11th century. And still it’s used as a residence today. C’mon?! How cool is that? With so much history and lore, the sites we visited in Europe were like living storybooks.
This is a shot looking up at St. George’s Chapel. If you look closely, you can see several ornate gargoyles and statues on the building.
We toured the State Apartments, the Drawings Gallery, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel. Torri wouldn’t leave without a photo with the guard.
Afterwards, there was a little time to do some shopping in the town of Windsor. It was such a quaint little spot. I tried to take some pictures that would capture the feel of it. I can’t say I succeeded entirely, but here they are nonetheless.
In Windsor, we picked up some English tea for my Grams. Torri also bought a Union Jack cell phone case and a Pandora charm for her bracelet.
Next up on our itinerary: Paris!