The next day we boarded a luxury mini-coach and headed off to explore a bit of the English countryside. In addition to posh leather seats and large viewing windows this Mercedes came loaded with a tour guide. Her knowledge and fun facts keep us interested and curious as we rolled along toward Stonehendge.
While I know this prehistoric monument is miraculous I still don't quite understand all the details of how these giant stones came to be what they are, where they are or by who they are. I guess no one really does and that's the awesome thing about it.
It was raining pretty hard when we arrived and Evan was hungry. So I didn't actually get up close and personal to the thing. Perhaps I would have felt differently if I did but it was still exciting to soak up a bit of the buzz and admire the massive stones from afar.
As we headed toward our lunch destination we passed through Bath. This historic town, located about 100 miles outside of London, is full of history and fame. The most famous being the author Jane Austen who lived in the apartment photographed below with the white door. The place originated at one big spa, what isn't to love? The photo is the far left corner is Pulteney Bridge built in 1773 to cross the River Avon.
We proceed on through the rolling green Somerset hills to the old George Inn where we stopped for lunch. The mullion windows, tiled roofs and stone facings of the cottages date back more than 700 years. It was charming in every way possible.
Little did we know, however, that the real gift was about to be revealed.
As we curved around the corner into the castle our mouths dropped and our eyes widened. This was the real deal. Well, hello Thornbury. What an honour and a pleasure to meet you.
Above everything else we've experienced on this trip this takes the cake for the ultimate "WOW factor." I hesitate to say once-in-a-lifetime experience again but that is the only way to describe it. With a quick blink of an eye I became queen for a day.
There was an aura about the place that words can't explain. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn walked these rooms and grounds 500 years ago. Princess Mary, later Queen Mary I, also lived here for several years. It was georgous, pure and authentic. This most certainly was not a Disneyland castle.