30 pence or bust: November 24th
My birthday! We woke up at 6 am to meet the bus for our tour to Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford. We quickly realized we could have just met the real bus at Victoria Station since the bus we met took us to Victoria. We waited for our bus, tour 65, and also paid 30 pence to use the restrooms.
We started at Windsor and it was beautiful. The weather was drizzly and cold, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the sites. You are not allowed to take photos inside Windsor, but google it because it is pretty spectacular. It is the oldest castle in the world and the castles were strategically located to unify all of England. Queen Elizabeth lives there on the weekends and we even got to see the changing of the guard. St George’s was also worth the visit and Princess Margaret and others are buried there.
Next we went to Stonehenge. The rocks are two different kinds of rock, one from over 200 miles away and another one local. Amazing to think that rock traveled all that way. Each stop allowed us a little more than an hour to explore, which was perfect. I even had time to enjoy an elderflower seltzer from the cafe. It’s basically sparkling water with a hint of elderflower and sugar. I packed an apple from the market and also purchased an edamame, pea, and green bean with feta salad from Eat, which is their equivalent of Panera. I always think it is interesting to document what you eat when you travel. I have a pretty wide food palate, but I steer towards healthy with a bit of indulgence.
Our last stop was Oxford. I love college towns and Oxford is one of the best I’ve seen. We walked around the town and did not go into any of the buildings, but my friend and I left the group to get Oxford T-shirts and a baseball hat. The cashier (wearing a Star Wars t-shirt) was amused as I slowly counted my coins. I said ‘I feel so smart at Oxford right now.’ He laughed and I said it makes you relate to foreigners when they are in your country. Kindness is appreciated.
Then we grabbed a Guinness at a pub called the Lamb and the Flag as we waited for our bus to return. So my birthday dinner consisted of Guinness and Teddy Graham’s and I have no complaints.
Update: We had a late dinner at the Pembroke in Kensington when we got back. I had the salmon and a buttery potato purée and broccolini. Salmon is my favorite meal and this was cooked perfectly. It was an ideal way to end a long day on a bus.