When I was a little girl, I dreamed of castles. Not in the typical princess variety, but of the dark corners, thick stone, and applied protection behind it’s walls. Libraries, kitchens, and velvet tapestries invaded my mind. Maybe a knight or two entered my imagination, but I was never interested in Princes. I was reminded of this on our visit to Windsor. Stroking through cobblestone streets, you could see the small town centre was scrubbed clean for tourists. An elitism filled the air, displayed in part by bartenders and pub owners, but also just as if we were literally breathing something not fit for common man. Even vintage churches had a different class to them. After a nice pub lunch , the sommelier, his family, and I walked down to the Thames, where he bribed swimming birds for our niece, Lily. The swans in the UK are now so plentiful; in Windsor it is no longer appropriate to consume, as they did in days of The Tudors. We hopped on a double decker bus to see the town, mostly to save time, but also because secretly, I am a history nerd, and needed an audio tour. Passing through the small city, we heard unique insight into the upper classes of England: where the princes went to college (high school), where they played football (soccer), and where daughters of duchesses go to ballet lessons. While Eton College was very grand and distinguished, my thoughts questioned the daily uniforms of ducktails and white bowties. It seemed a bit excessive until I learned they rid the “standard uniform of top hats in the 1940s.” Nothing like being reminded of your insignificance in this world then seeing the looks of some of these teenagers, as you past by them on a tour bus, with your Nikon stuck to your eye. Pretty leveling. Yet, their pubs were built in the 1500s, and a statue of the queen stands in town centre, so you know… maybe wisdom is being passed through ancient walls. A drive through the countryside led us past farm houses and rows of grains. The English country is exactly as I remember, with rolling green hills, sheep herds, and dairy cows. After spectacular views of Windsor castle, we headed back to town. Standard black cab souvenirs and royal postcards aside, we made our way back to Reading via train with the other tourists. Our time in England was coming to a close, and to celebrate our short visit, my brother-in-law roasted a lamb, complete with Yorkshire pudding and bitters. Amazingly delicious. Now this was first class. The sommelier and I said our goodbyes to very loved and missed family, packed our bags, and fell asleep early to catch our flight home… but not first with a layover in Istanbul… more to come…tomorrow. Cheers.
Loved this post! I didn’t get to visit Windsor when I was there and I’m reminded of all the things I missed, and also how at that age (I was 21), I didn’t care as much for history. I liked to experience a city by walking through it, perhaps having a coffee and watching people pass by. I still like that kind of “tourism,” but also care more about history, so if I were studying abroad again and had six whole months there, I wouldn’t miss out on the things I did. I’m so glad for your posts!
The sommelier and I have very different ways of experiencing cities. He also prefers the cafe and people watching… Which we did a lot of in Paris. I prefer walking, but I usually buy a tourist/history book or do a tour.
Sadly, because of the ONGOING mess with our house, I was busy doing paperwork… literally until we left for this vacation.
I seriously regretted not doing more research for S France, but was happy to do the posts all the same! It’s been fun; I’m glad you like them!
I have a tour to Windsor Castle planned for when I’ll be in England next month! Your photos have made me even more excited for the adventure. :-)
That’s great! Mid-week was great.. hardly any queues. :)
Have an awesome time!
Gorgeous photos! Makes me wish I was there
Thanks Stacy! I hope all is well in SA :) miss y’all!
I’ve never been to the UK (I drove through Northern Ireland and stopped for gas!), but it’s definitely on my list of places to see. My husband laughs at me because I plan all my vacations around food. Where am I going to eat? That dictates every decision I make. And when people ask me about my trips, all I can share are food memories with little bits of culture and life sprinkled in. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)
I do the same thing! I love good food… and go out of my way to visit worthy eateries.
I’m glad you liked the post- it’s good to get a bit of history every once on a while :)
Windsor is special. Great alternative to watch Changing of the Guard also.
Yes they had the parade at 11. My niece was excited!
Nothing is better after a long day than a roast and some yorkshire pudding. Yummo. I haven’t been to Windsor, but hope one day I can explore more of England. Is that really what they wear at Eton College? Definitely sounds excessive, but at least they don’t have those hats anymore. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!
Yes they wear ducktails! It’s fascinating!
We visited Windsor Castle a few years back. I remember stopping in a local pub for lunch and it was delicious. Great pictures!
Thanks! It was delicious, but be careful where you eat… There were some pubs in Windsor that were a little snobbish.
I’ve been to England several times but never Windsor – hopefully next time! That food looks yummy! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!