Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

Today was our Windsor Castle trip! In the morning, I got up a little bit later, and didn’t eat breakfast, but went over to the cafeteria to meet a couple of people who got there earlier to eat so that I could grab a cup of coffee. We met Kriss up at the Medfield stop by the co-op.  We took the bus to the Putney station, then over to Clapham Junction, where we transferred to a train to Windsor.

On the train, there was a really cool toilet! I guess half of the bathroom was curved with a circular wall, and there was a sliding door along the curve! With a button to open and close it! It seemed so much more modern than the bathroom technology on American trains! Important to note was the lock lever inside – which according to Kriss, and  some of the people we saw today – sometimes people forget to lock it. There were also some people who seemed to have been drinking a bit, and had some fun with the door and the forgetting of using a lock – seemed like something college boys might do, but interesting acts for 30 something year olds.

But we got to Windsor – it was quite crowded, with many tourists. But after we passed through security, we saw the castle – it was beautiful! The history was amazing, as was the mere size and scale of the castle! The gothic architecture was beautiful too. Mostly, we were restricted to seeing the outside. Though you could see the turrets and slits where arrows could be shot through. But we also got to go inside St. George’s Chapel – which was breathtaking. The gothic architecture was very detailed – I have no idea how they were able to build it so high, and put the gold plating on the ceiling. It was very humbling to be in the presence of tombs, of people like the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, and much more of British Royalty. We also were able to see the banners of different knights – the experience was very humbling.

Windsor Castle
The group in front of Windsor Castle
Afterwards, we ate lunch on a sidewalk within the castle, and got to see a guard. There was also a point when some guards came and changed one of the outposts. And a scary moment when a tourist tried to wrap her arm around the guard for a picture (you’re not supposed to touch them!!!), and he violently stomped to get her away (I guess they’re not supposed to talk either). But it was amazing!

We walked around Windsor as well – seeing some shop areas – there’s a mall that also looks like a train station – it seems to be a common theme! We also went down to the riverfront for a while, before making it back (running once again!) to the train to Clapham Junction. Kriss left, but we walked around for a while. Most of the kids stopped to eat a little bit and get some drinks at a tex-mex restaurant (with hats included!), but Adam, Nicole, and I elected to walk and go out around the town.

We found a street market nearby, where there was fresh fruit being sold – they were selling them by the bowlful! We got 15 nectarines for 2 pounds (pretty good deal I think!), and wanted to get cherries too, but didn’t have a way of carrying them. We went a little off the tourist path, and walked through a playground, seeing some of the ethnic diversity, as well as the cool abstract playground – the see saw was made of springs and spun around! We wanted to play, but there were little children and their mothers, so we decided not to. We passed a library, and a glass building which looked amazing.  After that, we made our way to the Town Centre of Clapham Junction, and to an Asda (like a supermarket + some clothes, toys, electronics – like a smaller Target or Wal Mart) and bought a few things there before making our way back to Roehampton.

Dinner was quite good tonight! There was a pizza that seemed deep dish (the bread was thick – maybe Italian bread – maybe it’s closer to the real thing?), as well as cheesecake! Tonight, I stayed in doing some reading and uploading pictures to Facebook – and we had quite an adventure looking for the laundry room. The door from the basement was locked, but Adam and Stephanie found a door around the corner on the outside, down some steps, in the dark, past a shopping cart. It was quite scary!! I went out again with Kevin and Adam, as Kevin was going to open the door. Adam was ready to take a fire extinguisher with him (presumably as a weapon…just in case. We were all scared except for Kevin – this is the Jack the Ripper country after all), but elected to use a water bottle. In the end, Kevin just opened the door and turned on the light. But it was quite a fun experience (except for Stephanie shouting out the window and scaring me!)

We’re looking forward to our own planned trip down to the seaside tomorrow, Brighton, and be able to go into the English Channel!

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