Monday 12 April
Pictures from Windsor
Today was a travel day when we returned from Market Rasen to London. Breakfast at the Advocate Arms was slow - maybe there was a problem in assembling the eggs and smoked salmon for Mary and the eggs, back bacon, pork sausages and fried bread for me. When I paid the bill the young girl at the desk asked me if I had had a good time. "Did you go to the Market Rasen Races yesterday?" "No we went to see the bell ringing in the church and then to hear the fairground organs." Her face was a joy to behold.
Brian and Gill took us to the station to avoid us having to walk at least five minutes with our cases (on wheels) and saw us on the train. There was at least a car load of passengers waiting on the platform and the single car came in full and standing already. It is then a case of every man for himself and Mary and I managed to get into the train successfully with our cases. It was only crowded from Lincoln onwards and the train had lost time because each station stop took a long time. That didn't matter because the train to London was running late. The official reason was a bridge strike. I didn't know bridges went on strike - I thought they just stood there looking bored. To make a long story short, the train ahead of ours was canceled and so our train had two train loads of passengers on it. Taking the every man for himself approach we found seats and I got absorbed listening to my iPod rather than listening to the whingeing about no reserved seats. Two things are now apparent:
- avoid the East Coast Main Line like the plague
- The only thing British Railways are very good at is apologizing as they have to do a lot of it.
Once again we were treated to an old IC 125 with doors that can only be opeened from the outside,
At Kings Cross we found the Circle line does not operate east of Edgware Road so we had to take a Hammersmith and City line train and traipse all across Paddington station. The Underground is complete madness and the trains are very old.
The Indigo Hotel was once again, very good and we have a good room for the next few days.
We decided to use up this day on a rail pass by going to Windsor. We started from platform 13 at Paddington which I know as "The Drain". The First Great Western train was alright and it even had destination signs in the car but they don't know where they are as they don't seem to be hooked up to a GPS system. Must have been designed by an OC Transpo manager.
Windsor was hot and cold in turn and there was a few spots of rain as well. The first order of business was a late lunch - pint of beer each, Ploughman's for Colin and Beef and Beer pot pie with fries and veggies. Both were excellent, well cooked, well prepared and good portions. This was a great surprise to us as the pub was right across from the entrance to the castle and we thought it would be a tourist trap.
Our late lunch meant that we were in a rush to get into St. George's Chapel but we had just enough time and were satisfied that we had our priorities right. The chapel, with its wonderful fan vaulted roof is always a pleasure. We then visited Queen Mary's Dolls House and the Royal Apartments. This was very nice but I kept thinking of the famous Tony Hancock saying "Come the revolution and you've 'ad it mate." Just think it cost 32 pounds for the two of just to get in - and I was given the seniors discount.
We were getting tired by this time and caught the train back to Paddington and the hotel.