Well, the final day began with all 42 of us aboard the motor coach headed west about an hour or so to Windsor Castle.
It's actually a series of structures, or a little village that has been the home of British Royalty, since, oh, Henry VIII or earlier. The structures have been added to and remodeled, and since a fire in the 1990s, repaired.
We saw the changing of the guard as soon as we arrived, and snapped a group photo of us for the use of Holiday Vacations. A copy will be sent to each one of the participants so we can remember our friends and the trip.
Second, we saw Prince Margret Ann's miniature doll house with all the rooms and electric lights glowing.
Third, We also toured the State Apartments with the many rooms of armor, weapons, art, beds, and of course, tourists! The staff was very friendly but strict about no photos.
We ate in a real English pub,"Fish and Chips" and then ran for the bus, as we returned to London.
But along the way, I realized we had missed the Dr. Who Tardis on the west side of London, at the Earl's Court underground station entrance. I asked to be dropped with my wife there, and the driver stopped for a photo shoot at Albert Hall Memorial, allowing us to make the 6 block walk down to our "holy grail".
This Tardis Blue police phone box is one of the very few still in existence in London, and the only one available to the public. We snapped all the required photos of it for my daughter, and then boarded the train for Kensington Palace. We walked the flower garden, saw the Orangery, walked around the round lake, and then along side the Serpentine Lake, where paddle boats, ducks and geese swirled about. We boarded the tube train at Hyde Park Corner, and were back at the hotel just in time for our farewell Diner to begin.
After dinner, to walk things off, we again journeyed back to the underground and went to find Druery Lane, near the theater District. We walked all the way down Fleet Street to St. Paul's Cathedral as the light was fading, took some great illuminated dome shots, and then went down inside the underground again. (St. Paul's was successfully defended against the German bombers in WWII by bucket brigades hiding up on the dome with buckets of sand for the incendiary bombs.)
We discovered in addition to Victoria line still being out of service, Bankerloo line was experiencing some signal problems, and a guard- attendant suggested we back tract to Bank (in the heart of the financial district) and then take a direct line back to Waterloo station, two blocks from our hotel.
Have I told you how much we loved the underground to get around?!! This is our second day of all-day passes, and this is SO helpful, it has saved our feet and legs so much trouble! I can't wait to get back to London again and play some more with others!
I even gave every member of our party a "magic transportation ticket" that was blank. Several asked me what it was for, and how to used this black ticket. I suggested that a man sold me these magic tickets, and whenever they wanted to return to London, they just had to stare at the ticket and remember, and they would return again. And I told them they could try it out to see if it admitted them to the subway anytime they liked....with the NEXT trip to London!
It has been a hit!
Now, we prepare and back for the all day journey home to the US...arrival time near midnight Wednesday. See you soon!
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