Sunday, October 2, 2011

England/France - Day 5 - Charingworth Manor, Stonehenge and Windsor

We awoke to a misty morning and were delighted to finally see Charingworth Manor in the light.  What a wonderful surprise!
This house is 700 years old!
Lovely English countryside.

Yummy breakfast.
In addition to the buffet - we were served a hot breakfast off the menu.

Unfortunately we didn't have time to enjoy the fitness facilities or swimming pool because we had a busy day ahead of us.  Wes still trying to get used to the steering wheel on the Right side of the car.
We drove through many little villages like this one - Marlborough.  I could have spent hours in each village exploring the shops, restaurants and old buildings.  But we drove on...
To Stonehenge.  (I am listening to the audioguide - not talking on the phone.)
Structures at this site date back to 3000 BC.  But these bluestones - which were brought to this site from various sites including 150 miles away in Wales - date back to 2500 BC.  There is still a lot of mystery and legend associated with Stonehenge.  We will never know for sure what its original purpose was but experts think that it had something to do with the changing seasons and the rising and setting of the sun.  It is fascinating!

1/3 of each stone is buried under the ground!  These stones are huge!  Imagine transporting and lifting these stones using only basic tools of bone, rock and wood.
The horizontal stones weren't just set on the vertical stones - they actually fit together in a tongue and groove fashion - like a puzzle.

There are many mounds of dirt - called barrows - located near Stonehenge and in the surrounding area.

As we continued our drive back towards London - we stopped at a grocery store to pick up some lunch supplies - cheese, bread, fruit, yogurt and chocolate.
We then stopped at Windsor - one of the official residences of the Queen of England.  We knew she wasn't there because her flag was not displayed that day.

We toured St. George's chapel - Queen Elizabeth's parents, King George VI (King's Speech) and Elizabeth, and sister Margaret Rose are buried here.
I was very moved by the tomb of Princess Charlotte.  She and her baby both died in childbirth.  You can see her body under a drape, with just peek of her hand, and her spirit and the spirit of her baby rising up to heaven.  The drapes covering the mourners looked so realistic it was hard to believe that it was marble and not fabric.
Me with a guard, yet again.  We also toured the State apartments and a doll museum.
Our time in England was coming to an end and we felt we couldn't leave without a meal of fish and chips.

James had to take a business call so we ate our dinner and played at a local park.
A blurry shot of Becca pushing Wes in a swing.

We drove back to Kent for one final night. The next morning we were to take the Eurostar to Paris. I was very sad to leave! I have wanted to visit England for for many years - I didn't want it to end.

Here are some random memories...
"Do you have a transponder on your car?"
"Do you have like, sweaters?"  "Yes we have like sweaters."
Wes driving on the Right side of the car, on the Left side of the Road and parking against traffic with the cars going the other way.
James, "Can I get a receipt for that?"
Paid for public restroom in library in Windsor.
Chocolate dessert and custard at B&H's house.
Our close attempt to celebrating an early Guy Fawkes night.
"Do you have sat nav?"
"Mind the gap!"
Fudge in Cambridge.
Children of Kent going to school.
Wes and Becca talking with an English accent.
Charingworth room that looked like James and Becca's chalet.
Waking up in Kent to the smell of cows.

Next up...France!

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