I think I’m getting worse. Not even kidding. I’m actually amazed that I haven’t managed to get myself lost beyond being found.
I have a friend dubbed “London Emily” who lives just outside of Windsor, and I decided to head out of the city for the day and meet up with her in the evening.
She sent me directions for how to take the train out to her.
I literally glance at them.
I look up tours to Windsor and Eton. Examine a city map. And that’s about the extent of my preparation.
I tube to Paddington. Find the ticket line. And promptly give directions to three different tourists on where and how to buy tickets. What is wrong with me that I felt the compulsion to know what I am doing at all times, even if I don’t? It’s seriously a problem.
I get my ticket for Windsor and look at the train departures board. Huh….now what? I vaguely remember something about needing to take a train that calls at Slough and from there get a train to Windsor. Ok….Scan for Slough. That one’s delayed…. OK. There’s one leaving from Platform 13. Head to Platform 13. Hop on my train. And wait to call at Slough.
…Iver…Langley…Slough. Alright. Here goes nothing. And half the train exits. Excellent. Always comforting when I’m not the only one doing something. Arrows to Windsor Trains. Love it when things are idiot proof. Or just Jenni didn’t actually plan ahead proof.
Five minutes of a train filled with tourists later, lets go find myself a cup of coffee and a park bench. Not ready for tourists yet. And so I pause by the Thames and discover a most enjoyable sign:
And don’t forget it. I then roam towards Eton thinking maybe I’ll see if I want to tour the school. Eh - I roam around the area for a bit instead.
England has this way of unnerving me. Everything is labeled and sounds so proper. I always feel as though I’m about to stumble into a secured area — or a polo field that’s being mowed. I figured if a biker went through, so could I. Just look local.
After a few more random turns, I found myself at the top of the Long Walk with a tree trunk calling my name. Why I would love to eat an apple and read my book. If only I had a cup of tea to warm me up. It’s a bit chilly when not moving. And there’s a raindrop.
I have two choices. Deal with the rain or go tour Windsor Castle. It’s a whopping £15 for a discounted student ticket. But, there is some indoor time…
Little did I know that the indoor time had large chunks of outdoor time in between it. Tell me why again, I decided to leave my lens hood in the states? Jenni, you are going to London. Are you kidding me?! Did you think it wouldn’t rain? That’s directly below not packing an umbrella. Which I did. Cause at least I’m not that dumb.
I gotta say, I am impressed with the quality of English tours. Yes, I paid £15, but, I had a free audio tour — which I finally understand. So much better than an actual tour guide. You can go at your own speed, actually hear the information, replay things you miss. It’s great. And I mean, I guess that I’d rather they charge tourists a ton of money, than only relying on British citizens to support the royal family.
After the tour, I had about an hour until London Emily was finished with work. Soy Chai? Don’t mind if I do. Is it odd that I have started bringing books along on my day trips? This way I can break under trees, by rivers or in coffee shops and read. In all honesty, I think it’s just London wearing off. Everyone reads everywhere: the tube, the park, the bus. I’ve never been so up-to-date on my news ever.
Dinner. Drinks. Coffee. Late train back into London. I do not mind this London lifestyle.