Friday fun-day? Well that’ what it was for me, as I was fortunate enough to embark on a tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and the Roman town of Bath. This too was a solo endeavor for me. Although I was super nervous I would miss the trip, I managed to find the stunning St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and was picked up right on time at 7:30 a.m. and brought to the point of departure.
I could probably go on about each place I visited forever, but I will try to keep it short. Our first destination was Windsor Castle, a royal residence and apparently a beloved getaway by Her Majesty. I was super excited to explore a “real” castle. During my time here, I visited the Queen’s dollhouse and doll collection, which apparently are both famous and expensive. I then strolled through St. George’s Chapel, which is also the burial place of members of the Royal Family. Although the State Apartments were closed, I felt so fortunate to be able to view the Changing of the Guards outside the chapel. I was filled with emotion and gratitude as the Guard band came marching through playing their drums and bagpipes. What a sight!
The second stop of the day was the mysterious Stonehenge. Although it is still based on speculation, it is believed that the sandstone and bluestone formation on Salisbury Plain was a temple to the sun and then used to track the shortest and longest days of the year. Stonehenge took many forms before if became what we see it as today, which interested me. There was plenty of research and information about the site in a brand new museum, and I spent most of my time in there. (I mean, how long can I stand there and look at rocks?) I am super glad I got to view the wonder.
The last and final stop was the Roman city of Bath, which to this day, still has romantic charm with its limestone buildings and beautiful cathedral. The main reason for the stop was to visit the Roman bathhouse, which is a very well preserved site for public bathing. I may have been most excited for this because I visited a public bath in Rome, but it was in complete ruins. To see the main bath, still with warm mineral water and original columns, was absolutely amazing. I even got to taste the water, which tasted of iron, even though it has 43 minerals altogether.
I freely roamed the city during the rest of my visit. It reminded me of my visit to Venice over the summer when we were left to explore the beautiful city. Although it is nowhere near as impressive as Venice, Bath has a beautiful park along the water where I spent much time wandering.
I did feel bad about leaving Olivia for the day, but I was so thankful I was able to see such incredible sights. Another solo trip, another fantastic experience and many memories that will last a lifetime: my version of a successful day.