Majestically atop a hill overlooking Windsor and Eton sits Windsor Castle, the historical and landmark tourist site of over 900 years of royalty.  Countless monarchs have resided in within the wall of the castle, to include the current queen on her weekend trips to Windsor.  The dried up moat surrounding the property has now become an overgrown garden of wild flowers and foliage.  Lush green lawns ornately kept and mowed present an aura of prestige and detail-oriented gardening upon first glance at the grounds.  I witnessed another changing of the guard, this time in the rain.  Yes, the uniforms were still all matching and the guards still did not smile, although one almost tripped which would have been a tad funny.  A group of French visitors got the scare of their lives when the guard began to march up a public pathway and were obstructed.  The lead guard yelled “MAKE WAY FOR THE QUEEN!” To which the French group scurries away as fast as they could with looks of terror on their faces.  Note, when I say yelled, it was so loud I could hear it probably a hundred yards away as if he was standing next to my face.  Strong vocal cords!

Inside the premises, I toured St. George Cathedral, the doll collection and the state rooms.  No photography in the cathedral (dang it!).  Tombs of King George the Sixth, the Queen mum and like Westminster, many servants and holy figures were buried in large tombs above and below ground.  Weird to be walking on the resting places of the dead when that’s considered quite rude in American culture. The life size dolls were a tad creepy looking they were so realistic.  And the mini-scale doll house that was a gift to the queen’s mother as a child was incredible detail.  the audio guide informed me that hundreds of craftsmen and artists world wide assembled various pieces to be included in the house.  I’m willing to guess that the pieces cost several million pounds together as a collection.  Finally, the state rooms were magnificent.  Gold everywhere, ancient artifacts that were gifts from foreign rulers within the British empire, tapestries spanning entire walls of rooms, and the fine china collections.  Oh my goodness were they astounding.  Intricate artwork, to the finest detail, depicting battle scenes, the London countryside and foreign lands of the empire.  Of the collective 48 sets, only (only is an understatement) 10 were on display.  Hundreds of pieces total, and the display room was a spinning canvas of color from all the plates, urns and cups.  Just an incredible room to stand in, and one of my favorites from the tour.

Lunch afterwards was divine….cauliflower soup, hot tea, king prawn pesto linguine and salty caramel cheesecake.  Definitely heading to the gym for a solid 2 hours today.

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