A private car picks us up in front of the Dorchester at 9:30 a.m. London time. The driver, Nick, whisks us to the first stop on our tour – Windsor Castle (Europe retains a hankering for its castles and royals). Once again technology stumps me, as I have pictures of this day on my phone, not my camera, and do not know how to incorporate these in my blog. But my son Seth has come to my rescue and showed me how to handle this. Done! (A technological aside, I did figure out, through WordPress, how to rotate an image!)
Windsor Castle had long lines for entrance, with every nationality represented, even the English. This castle, too, has a changing of the guard and is the weekend home of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. I mean no disrespect, but what does a couple of their advanced age do in such a place? Its grandeur the antithesis of the practical, the hallways long enough to handle my morning exercise routine. But what do I know of such things? From the castle, we head further from London, toward Oxford University. Now this is a place where old roots and beauty collide. Majestic buildings with massive courtyards and gardens are magnificent beyond compare. Stately Rolls Royce’s from another era dot the cobbled streets. On a visceral and aesthetic level, I can see how conducive to learning these century old surroundings would be. Something magical calls upon the heart and mind to open and explore. And then eat lunch.
Next, our driver takes us to the Cotswolds. Home to the rich and famous, or second home to them. Many English as well as American actors live here, in virtual anonymity (at least from me). We drove past open fields of sheep and horticulture, houses separated by tastefully high gates and acres of land. The picture below was taken outside the front gate of one of these homes. My cousin, upon seeing it, asked if that’s where Thanksgiving will be this year. I wish! We walked through small towns, one in which homes could only be made from stones. The experience takes me into a history not my own, but no less fascinating. A time machine into yesteryear.