Spring break: Friday and Windsor CastleFriday morning we arrived in London via the Chunnel. The Chunnel is... a large tunnel. Really, it's no different from other tunnels, at least for the people going through them. The train we were on was really cool, though, and we got to ride business class.
Friday was a day of futility, to large degree. The interesting part is that once we got to London, we got some pounds from the ATM as fast as possible in order to make our next connection. We made it, and several others, and the result was that we eventually ended up on a very cool red double decker bus heading out of London to a stop called "Carshalton Windsor Castle." We were stoked about this bus because for one, it was really cheap, and for two, it was really cool to ride in the top. Well, we missed our stop because it wasn't clearly labelled, and had to backtrack after we reached the end of the line with no Windsor Castle. As you can imagine, we were very confused as to why there was no signage indicating the residence of the royal family. I mean, how weird. So we paid another fare and got back on a bus headed the opposite way on the same route. We got off close to our stop we thought, and found out we weren't so close. About that time, the SAME driver from the first bus came by and had compassion on us and explained how we could walk to Windsor Castle. We were pleased with this. So we started walking, all the while carrying each a backpack and a small duffel/suitcase thing. Well, it started to rain. Then it even hailed very small hailstones. It was interesting. Then, having followed the directions, we found ourselves at a pub called Windsor Castle. We figured the castle had to be somewhere close. Well, we finally talked to a guy in a gas station... and it turns out, the pub is all there is! The bus stop was named after a PUB. The real castle is in Windsor (which we kind of realized, but we thought maybe Windsor was another suburb of London like Carshalton, where we seemed to be). So, feeling really stupid but amused at that point, we walked up the hill and shared a fantastic lunch of Cumberland sausage with Yorkshire pudding and onions and gravy. Yorkshire pudding is not what Americans think of as pudding at all, but kind of like a little bowl made out of bread. The meat and onions and gravy were inside the bowl. It was great. Then we made our way back to London to start again. We kind of had to get to Windsor anyway (nevermind the castle) because our train reservations for getting to Oxford were from Windsor, not London. So we took a bus there finally in the evening and got there in time to walk around and see the neat little town of Windsor and the castle from the outside and hop on our train to Oxford. When we finally got to Oxford we were so exhausted and briefly ate a dinner of peanuts and water in the hallway outside my room before heading each to bed in our cushy hostel bunks. What a day.
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