Since I already posted about today's adventures I guess this is a catchup posting about yesterday. We started our day with a quick trip in to Oxford. We drove around the University area, and found the varsity shop so we could get the requisite sweatshirts. We also found a Starbucks for a quick breakfast.
From Oxford we headed to Windsor Castle. Nothing can prepare you for the first view of Windsor from the distance. It is the most imposing, amazing castle you have ever seen. Josh and I said that if we were an invading army and saw that castle from a distance we would simply turn our horses around and ride home. "Run away, Run away..." in your best Monty Python voice. It just looks like every castle you have ever imagined. Here's josh standing below one of the towers.
The tour of the inside of the castle included the living quarters, as well as St. Georges Chapel. St. Georges is where the Queen knights the new Knights. The living quarters were, of course, amazing, and large, but the scale on the inside just did not compare to the outside view.
After Windsor we returned our car to Hertz and then we were supposed to meet a car we had pre-arranged with Simply Airports. After waiting 15 minutes we called. Yes, the driver is there, in a blue Chrysler, he is looking for you. Can he call you on this cell phone number? Of course, but no call. Another 15 minutes and we determined that although the driver had not been able to call us on our european cell phone, he was at the wrong Hertz. He was at the airport counter not at their drop off location near the airport. He'll be right there. Oh wait, where is it? How does he get there? How does he get here? Dude, follow the signs to rental car return and come on in to Hertz. 15 minutes later still no sign of the driver. Time for "Plan B" We hop on the Hertz shuttle to head back to the airport and take the train to downtown. As we leave Hertz we see a Blue Chrysler mini-van making a u-turn and heading back down the road the wrong way. Really? Was this guy actually waiting for us to come out the Hertz exit rather than driving in? I guess we'll never know. But in the meantime, I would not recommend booking a car with Simply Airports.
By the time we got to our hotel, we were all tired, hungry, and a little bit grumpy, but we decided to press on. We walked back up to Victoria Station, Then to BUCKingham Palace, through the park, on to Trafalger Square, and finally to Parliament. The parliament building is also massive and old. Mike if you are reading here's some Timber frame porn for you:
This hall was probably two football fields long! Look at all of that English Oak! We were also able to see the house of commons in session. We saw several ministers arguing about poverty in great britain, along with several people in traditional wigs.
We completed our day by finishing our circle tour, walking back toward Victoria Station. We decided to have dinner at L'Arco Italian restaurant, right around the corner from the theater where Billy Elliot is playing. It was a small family run establishment, and the food was really good. I had a tomato based Risotto and some Veal Marsala. Jane had the Risotto too, Kaia had some delicious pesto gnocchi, and josh pizza marguerita of course.