Friday, 20 July 2007

We Walked for Miles and Miles!

Wednesday, July 16, was a ''research day'' and my classmate Kathy Watson, who is from Kentucky, and I decided to take the train from nearby Waterloo station to Windsor and Eton. Kathy particularly wanted to go because the tiny hamlet of Dorney is near Windsor, and Dorney is where author Susan Cooper grew up. (Kathy is doing her project on Cooper's award-winning Dark Is Rising series.) We were thinking of renting bikes in Windsor to ride to Dorney...


Windsor Castle and Eton College are both places that I have wanted to see for ages and ages, but somehow did not make it there during my other visits to England. So once again I have such a good feeling of accomplishment about this trip! It was well worth the long queue especially to see Queen Mary's dollhouse, of course, as all the guidebooks will attest. It was a gorgeous day and we spent more time at the castle than we planned. Eton features prominently in so many English books; I am glad that I can now picture it!
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When we got to the bike rental place about 4 p.m, we found out it closes at 6 p.m. and decided that wasn't enough time to get to keep the bikes. So we walked about four or five miles through fields to see Dorney (not much to see, must admit!). On the way back, we took the Thames footpath and saw the Eton College rowing lake where Olympic rowing will take place in 2012! (Photo above shows the rowing centre.) I also got stabbed in the fingers by stinging nettles and poor Kathy, who wore shorts, got an allergic reaction on her legs from walking through straw! (Photo at top shows Kathy in the field of straw!) But it still was a fabulous day and we felt that ''good kind'' of exhaustion on the hourlong train ride back ''home.''

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