Europe 1979 – 4 – London & Windsor Castle

Tower of London Bridge
1979

The next morning, Diane cheerfully said, “Go down to the lobby. There’s food there and a whole lot of people from our group.” Great. I was a little nervous about meeting all the others. But with limited spending money, I had to take advantage of every meal that was offered as part of the tour. “Okay” I said, but on the inside I was thinking “I don’t really need to eat today.”

But down to the lobby I went. I found an empty spot at a table where several folks were already talking and eating. In fact, they were laughing, too. “Look at this thing. What’s wrong with it?” This guy was laughing and trying to pour tea from a teapot. The tea was sputtering out and making a mess.

Now the only tea I had ever drank was iced tea to which my mom always added two full cups of sugar. “Just like Kook-Aid”, she’d say. But I digress.

As soon as I swallowed the biscuit I was eating, I couldn’t help but say, “Hold it up higher. Not so close to the cup.” I don’t know how I knew to do that, but somehow looking at the shape of the teapot told me that.

So, he held the teapot higher, and the tea poured out smoothly in a neat cascade right into his tea cup.

“How did you know that?”

“I don’t know. Maybe by the shape of the teapot.”

“You must be smart.”

Well, that made me a bit uncomfortable, but very quickly, introductions were made, conversations began, and I had made another new friend. His name was Jerry Edelman, and he was from Van Nuys, California. With Diane from Florida, Jerry from California and me from the Midwest, we had our country covered.

Very quickly breakfast was over. Then we all got on our bus, and we spent the day exploring London.

Westminster Abbey

According to Google, Westminster Abbey is 753 years old; however, back in 1979, it was only 710 years old. Even so, during my visit it was undergoing some restoration. According to Google, more than 3,000 people are buried at Westminster Abbey, including many famous people. There are writers, poets, playwrights, and scientists. Among others, Scientists’ Corner includes Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking. I would love to vist Westminster Abbey again and take a tour. It seems to me it would be quite inspiring to be among all that history and so many great contributors to the human race, even though they are all dead.

Westminster Abbey.  Half of the building is black, and the other half is brown.

Prince Albert’s Memorial

Prince Albert's Memorial in 1979.

We also saw the Prince Albert Memorial which was completed in 1872. Notice the areas of black paint on the statue. This was how the statue looked for 80 years, including the time of my visit. However, years after I was there, the memorial underwent a ten year restoration which was completed in 1998. The areas which had been covered in black paint were regilded.

Click here to see what it looks like today. Sounds like another reason why I need to go back.

Tower of London

The Tower of London dates back to 1066. And, of course, it’s chock full of history. It has served in many roles including the royal residence as well as a prison. Which some may say is the same thing. I didn’t know much history back then, so I was kind of surprised to learn of its reputation as a place of torture and execution. I still don’t know much about the Tower of London and all its history.

Tower of London
Tower of London.
This was where executions took place.
Tower of London.

Windsor Castle

Moving on, we took the bus to see Windsor Castle. I was surprised at how long and sprawling it was. Kind of like a home addition that got out of hand.

The Road to Windsor Castle
People walking at Windsor Castle.
I don’t know this person in the lower left.
Could it be Phil Donahue?
Me at Windsor Castle.

Piccadilly Circus

And finally, what trip to London would be complete without seeing Piccadilly Circus? Click here to see what Piccadilly Circus looks like now. If you scroll down on the link’s page, there is short, fun video.

Piccadilly Circus in the day in 1979.
A Sign of the times
– Fuji Film
Piccadilly Circus at night in 1979.
London’s day is done.

Next up: Leaving London and the Longest Day Ever

29 comments

    • Thank you! I hadn’t thought of it before, but yes, you are right. Piccadilly Circus is similar to Times Square. The place to be on New Year’s Eve – but not me! Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. London is such a great city to explore. So much to see, soo much to learn. It’s a bit like Rome, it’s a walk through history. I had to smile when I read about your breakfast. ‘Salted butter’ is non-existing in Germany, Austria or Italy, so I didn’t know and spit out my toast. I thought they were making fun of me when they told me that the butter was indeed salted and that I should just put marmalade on it. I was 15 years old and an exchange student. I spent two days in London before we were transported to our families -mine would await me in Plymouth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in London on a tour for Thanksgiving weekend a couple of years after you were here. Saw much of the same things as you- I think I have an identical London bridge picture! We were urged to sample Indian food since it is part of the local cuisine scene. I had an enjoyable meal but that night we crossed the English channel back to France. The waves were wild, the ferry was rocking and you can only guess what happened next. I’m still not crazy about curry!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This will be the only time (possibly Amsterdam, if you went anywhere near the train station) that I have visited including, all of these places you write about and then some. It is fun to see it again, and especially through the eyes of a 20 year old and 27 years prior to my visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. London is changing constantly, when I don’t go in for 3 month, it is different agin then. I came to London in 1984 and it really has changed a lot since. I still love it to bits. 🙂 You did se the most iconic sites there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! That was a lot of sightseeing for one day. I am sure there is more to come. I have never traveled with a tour group before. I can imagine the pace can be frantic.

    London is still on our bucket list. I hope to visit all the place you have shown.

    Have a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, what I covered in this post may have taken two days, so three nights in London. I think the second day was dedicated to Windsor and Piccadilly Circus, but I am not 100% sure. So, I tried to be a little fuzzy with regards to the schedule – as is my memory. But either way, it was a fast pace schedule. Hope you have a good day, too!

      Like

    • I am glad to have you along! I don’t know if we’ll ever make it back, but I tend to doubt it. There’s so much I want to see right here in our country, and I want to do it in our travel trailer. Hope you are doing well, and have a great week!

      Like

  6. What a fun day, my mind would be swimming, but you look like you’re just taking it all in! As a fan of the Royal family, I would love to see Windsor Palace. Queen Elizabeth and her sister were sheltered there in WWII and so many other events took place there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did not know about Queen Elizabeth and her sister being sheltered at Windsor Castle during WWII – or if I did, I forgot it. I like to follow the Royal family a bit, too. My guess is you are much more an expert than I. Thank you for reading and your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Princesses were often roused from their beds in the middle of the night to hurry downstairs into the air raid shelters. Their parents came on the weekends to visit their daughters, but refused to retreat during the week because they felt the people of Britain needed to see them continuing in their roles as leaders and sharing the dangers of London.

        Liked by 1 person

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