Our reward was a brief ride through Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter, and Burford. Bibury, our favorite village, was so inviting that we stopped and spent a leisurely hour taking in all that this slice of heaven had to offer.
|Typical village path (road). This one is in Upper Slaughter.|
|One of the lush gardens of Bibury.|
|One of Windsor's courtyards.|
|Meticulously manicured gardens are located throughout the castle grounds.|
The next few days found us visiting Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, #10 Downing Street, Kensington Palace, Kensington Park, St. Paul's Cathedral, Harrods, Piccadilly Circus, and the Eye.
|The Houses of Parliament|
A riverboat cruise on the Thames was an efficient way to see many historic sites and we especially enjoyed the guide's humorous narration. I was surprised at the Thames' pollution. Extremely muddy and odorous, this famous river was once the site of the monarchy's palace until the smell made it necessary to build a new castle away from the Thames.
We spent an hour on an entertaining tour of the Tower of London. Our Beefeater guide was priceless and kept us laughing throughout this ancient palace of death and imprisonment. We visited the site of Anne Boleyn's beheading which fortunately is nice and clean now. And the Crown Jewels...wow! Absolutely stunning.
|Memorial at the site of Anne Boleyn's beheading.|
|Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guards|
It was impossible to pass up the opportunity to attend a London theatre production and "Wicked" did not disappoint us. This prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" tells us the story of Elphaba, The Wicked Witch of the West, and Glenda, the Good Witch of the North. It's an evening I'll never forget.
I was very fortunate to meet Sharon (Alan's cousin) and Len and their treat of dinner at Lemonia was incredible. I felt like I had known them for years and their company was instantly pleasant and comfortable. Their driving tour of the city at night presented us with a different view of London. Thank you Sharon and Len. I certainly hope we meet again.
I'll complete my story by sharing that I was constantly on the look out for Eric Clapton. From the moment I exited Delta flight DL10, I was on Eric watch. I asked pub patrons, tube riders, and hotel desk clerks if they ever say him in the area. The answer was always the same: "No." And then one day near the end of our vacation, I was rushing along with everyone else in the tube, and when I turned a corner, suddenly there he was, staring right at me.
I could go home....my vacation was complete.