International Writers Magazine:UK Travel
to Windsor to visit the Queen
Marianne de Nazareth
over to London and see Windsor Castle," offered my friends
Wendy and Yvonne who live in Windsor, UK and were old school friends,
back in India. So taking the National Express coach out of Swansea
I decided to take the weekend off my final dissertation writing
and visit the Queen!
traveling in the UK during the summer as the trees are covered with
fresh green foliage and there are flowers everywhere which make the
trip delightful for nature lovers. Looking out of the window for most
of the 5 hour journey into London, Victoria, I reveled in the hedges
covered with pristine white Hawthorn which we as kids back in India
only read about in Enid Blytons Famous Five or Secret
Seven series. There were also huge swathes of golden yellow rapeseed,
which interspersed the green and brown view, with sudden bursts of colour.
The lady in the seat next to me was very pleased to educate me on the
various plants and trees that we passed pointing out the Horse Chestnut
trees which were all in bloom. I was interested in those, as again in
Blytons books she talked about the game of Conkers
which is played with the seed of the tree. "Those are not native
to the UK and have been brought in from North America. The Oak, Poplars,
Birches and Beech trees are native to the UK," she explained smiling
and nodding all at once.
The five hour journey sped by in a jiffy and soon I was out at the Victoria
coach station with my little overnight case.
"Why dont you take a walk to Westminister Cathedral,"
advised Yvonne on my mobile phone. " I will come in after 6:30
as I would like to avoid the congestion on Londons roads which
is at its peak after 5pm."
That was wonderful advice, cause in no time I was trundling my
case after a friendly Polish lady who was also going to the cathedral,
to attend service there. Do try and be present for Mass at the Cathedral
and if you are a music lover, you can sit back in the pews and let the
wonderful soprano voices of the boys choir wash over you. There
is nothing more uplifting than listening to their perfect voices hit
the top notes like clear little bells.
The exterior of the Cathedral took me by surprise as it does not look
like a traditional British church, but looked very like the unusual
bi-colour Byzantine buildings I saw while I was in Amsterdam, domes
and all. However the stained glass inside are spectacular and its
amazing to find this haven of peace in bustling London.
Soon it was 6:30 and I was whisked off to Windsor by Yvonne and Wendy.
"Theres going to be a royal wedding at Windsor Castle tomorrow,"
explained Yvonne, " so they will not allow us in to look at the
insides I am sure," she said.
Lucky for us inspite of rain being predicted in the weather report,
we just had a cloudy morning to enjoy wandering around Windsor. We first
walked down to the palace complex and as we passed the Registry office,
Yvonne explained that, that was where Prince Charles and Camilla got
married. A little further we came upon cross roads where there was a
very unflattering statue of Queeen Victoria. All frumpy and in black
lace something like the huge statue in Kolkata near the gorgeous Victoria
Memorial which is the pride of Kolkata, in India. There too she is sitting
very grumpy and very overweight, all in black! However we have a beautiful
statue of her carved in white marble in Bangalore, India, where she
stands regally looking down the prime artery of the city MG Road.
All colonial legacies which remain undamaged, decades after independence.
The castle was enormous and crowds congregated around enjoying the
tourist attractions on display. There were ladies all dressed in
old world British costumes while tourists stood between them having
their pictures taken. There was even a group of men dancing a vigorous
traditional dance, clacking sticks and hopping around to music played
on a piano accordion. We walked around the castle which had the
flag flying on the flag pole, stating the queen was in residence.
The gates were shut and posses of policemen stood around,
probably all set for the royal guests who would arrive later that
evening. Interesting to see how people here in the UK are so very
fond of their royalty.
On a bridge spanning
the Thames behind the castle we wandered through an open air European
market with sausages from Portugal and cheese from Holland along with
trinkets that looked suspiciously Indian, but from Turkey on sale! I
had never tasted honey coated cashew nuts, so we had to buy a bag to
We were getting hungry with all the walking around, so we very willingly
let our noses lead us into a restaurant selling fresh fish and chips.
While we sat enjoying our food we wondered what the Queen must be eating
inside the castle, that we could see through the thick window panes
in-front of us.
© Marianne de Nazareth June 2008
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.