View From Harte Garter Hotel

Day 1 – Windsor Castle – Windsor UK

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This place is beautiful.  I’m staying in this quaint hotel (The Harte & Garter) right across from Windsor castle (where the Queen of England lives).  I’d have to give it 5 stars.  At first, not so much, but when it was discovered that my room was in a bad internet zone, they upgraded me to a top floor room with a spectacular view of the Castle.   Everyone who works here is very nice and helpful.

I flew in this morning and I have pretty much been on automatic pilot since I’ve arrived.   I’m jetlagged and  very tired but strangely energized by my  environment.  My CIE Tour guide met with me as soon as I was dropped off from the airport (which was included in the tour, btw). He told me that the tour officially starts tomorrow but there are activities scheduled today which I participated in.  He was extremely accommodating—asked about my meal preferences and wanted to see how I was doing after my long flight.  He’s a Scottish chap (that’s what they say here, no?) and has the gift of fab gab. He must’ve kissed the Blarney Stone at some point in his life.  

When I first arrived, I took a walk around the little village next to my hotel, the Harte & Garter.  I ate at some burger joint.  Since I’m a vegetarian, I ordered something called the California Burger which surpassed any vegetarian burger I have ever eaten in my lifetime.  Seriously, I may come back to Windsor just to have that California burger again.

Shortly I met my tour group back at the hotel and we all walked across the street to Windsor castle which is absolutely breathtaking.  It’s the oldest and largest castle in the world and has been home for centuries to some of the most historical majesties in England’s history like Elizabeth,  Henry VIII and Queen Victoria.  I got chills walking through the grounds.

Last night Britain was blessed with daylight savings time so the sun went down relatively early today.  We went on a walking tour of Windsor with a native Brit but unfortunately, the lack of light was a problem.  I heard some interesting stories and learned that “Sir Elton John” lives about 5 miles away but I do think that part of the tour would’ve gone a lot better with a little more sunlight.  Still props to the tour director (not the main CIE tour director) for maintaining a sense of humor.

Last we had a welcome drink with our fellow tour attendees.  I met some interesting people and everybody was very nice.  In indulged in some food, a little wine and had a very difficult time keeping my eyes open.  I must wake up very early tomorrow to be ready to depart Windsor which is now a place I know I must return to.  Tomorrow’s desirable destination is Shakespeare’s birthplace.  More to come….



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