May 26, 2006

Bath Tours - Mad Max and Bizarre Bath

From Bath, we (Carrie, Kris, Mitch, Gerri) took the Mad Max Tour of Stonehenge, Lacock National Trust Village, Avebury Stone Circles and Castle Combe. It was a full and enjoyable day, despite it being a bit overcast.

Later that evening, we took the Bizarre Bath tour - a very amusing walking tour - with NO historical facts, they stress. Highly recommended! (sorry, no photos)

May 21, 2006


We (Gerri and Mitch from Houston, Carrie and Kris) took the Original London Walks Tour of Greenwich. We set out by boat from the Tower of London. After arriving in Greenwich, we got an overview of the key sights. Then our guide made sure we were viewing the Observatory so we could see the ball on the tower move from the bottom to reach the top at exactly 13:00 (would have been noon without daylight savings time). My trusty Timex was perfect. After lunch, Mitch and Gerri toured the Cutty Sark and all the other "must-sees" in Greenwich.

May 11, 2006

Windsor Castle

Amy and Trudy wanted to visit a castle, and Windsor was very accessible from Richmond. We stopped in at the Richmond Travel Centre (Southwest Trains) and got a discount on our combination train and entrance ticket. Windsor and Eton Riverside was an American's paradise with so many familiar fast food restaurants. We could not resist a scoop or two from Ben and Jerry's. Then it was on to the castle. We were so relieved to be visiting during "off-season" when we saw the "30 minute" and "45 minute" signs in the lines to the dollhouse. We got in to all of the sights quickly which made them so much more enjoyable.

May 10, 2006

Bluebells (Watford Station)

Texans love their Bluebonnets and the British love their Bluebells.

This 9 mile hike was led by the Richmond Ramblers. After learning that Watford Station and Watford Junction are possibly at the opposite ends of the universe, we made it safely to the starting point. We loved all the green space and were amazed when we were given right of way when crossing golf courses because the footpaths were there first! The hike was fabulous!

Banjo was a very lucky dog because Trudy and Amy insisted that he join the hike. Except for being threatened by vicious swans (they growl!) and being saved by a local biker who ran them off so we could pass, the only challenge for Banjo was the public transportation (tube and train) - and he did just fine!

May 08, 2006

Big Red Bus - London

One of the best ways to get an overview of London is to take the Big Red Bus. They offer a number of walking tours and we chose the "Changing of the Guard" (we could have gone on all of them). We rode the bus and listened to live commentary until we reached the Tower of London. We then took the boat tour back to Westminster. Trudy and Amy took advantage of the "hop-on hop-off" feature for the rest of the afternoon to see more of London.

May 07, 2006

Chiswick House Walk

This is another Country Walk led by June and Aubrey. This one originated at Chiswick House, and we were amazed that we did not know about this house and beautiful gardens, so close to home. We were led past old cemetaries, fabulous homes with private gardens on the Thames, blue plaques and finally to the pub for lunch. Trudy and Amy, who were visiting from Houston, completed the 2nd half of the hike in the afternoon while Kris and Carrie skipped home for a much deserved nap.

May 01, 2006

Keukenhof (the Netherlands)

Keukenhof (outside Leiden, the Netherlands) is only open a few months of the year and is a "must-see". Every significant bulb grower is given the opportunity to landscape a portion of the gardens, so each section is more beautiful than the next. Although it was cold and drizzling, our (Raji, Kris, Carrie) spirits were lifted by the beauty in these gardens.

After watching people "walk on water", I had to come try it for myself. There are a series of concrete blocks just below the surface of the water. Thus, I could create the illusion that I was walking across the lake.