A Week in Europe – Part 1: Stonehenge, Avebury, and Windsor Palace

Contrary to our normal travelling style, we actually decided to spend an entire week across the pond (and actually blog about it!). We settled on two of the world’s most touristy destinations, London and Amsterdam. I’ve been to London before, but Courtney’s unhealthy obsession with the Royal Baby meant she was itching to go. Flights were on Delta, and were nothing worth writing about, except…

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YAY! Good scotch!

We landed at London-Heathrow and made our way to our rental car. Now, this was a bit of a bucket list for me, driving a manual on the “wrong” side of the road. It was tough, shifting left handed, constant round-a-bouts, etc. But it ended up being a blast and I couldn’t have imagined getting around the English countryside any other way. Tour groups to Stonehenge are seriously missing out.

Speaking of Stonehenge….that was our first stop. The weather was dreary, windy, overcast, and misting. The setting was perfect. Well, except for the very busy road that runs right next to Stonehenge that you won’t see in any pictures.

Stonehenge Rocks!

Stonehenge Rocks!

Your standard Stonehenge photo.

Your standard Stonehenge photo. I won’t ruin your dream of visiting by showing the crowded motorway 😉

After that, it was off to our hotel to unwind and find some dinner. Now, our “hotel” was in the town of Marlborough. While a decent enough sized place, there are no chain hotels where we could use points. No, we stayed in a room above a pub. The room was actually fairly nice, was quiet (after a certain point), and best of all had clean beds. If you are in the area, highly recommend The Green Dragon. So, we did what we do best, and bar (pub?) crawled the town.

After waking up slightly late…I think I found my new hangover cure. Courtney wasn’t a huge fan, but she made the mistake of getting her eggs scrambled. Rookie.

Full English, or Fry-up

Full English, or Fry-up

Already running late and with a lot of ground to cover and some rain settling in, I channeled my inner James Bond and tore through the English countryside in our two seater convertible. Of course, that meant puttering along in our Ford Fiesta and constantly hoping not to stall the car out driving down twisty one lane roads, all the while keeping that Fry-up down.

But we made it to our destination, Avebury. Now, from everything you read online, this place is supposed to be better than Stonehenge, to the point where its worth skipping Stonehenge. Those writers must be huge fans of sheep, and their droppings. I get that the history is fascinating, but we just couldn’t quite get into it that much.

Some rocks.

Some rocks.

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Some rocks and sheep.

No rocks, just sheep.

No rocks, just sheep.

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More sheep.

No rocks, no sheep, but a cool building in Avebury.

No rocks, no sheep, but a cool building in Avebury.

With that out of the way, it was a lot more driving, most on the highways, to Windsor Castle. Now, we could have just returned the car and taken a train from London, but where’s the fun in that? Oh that’s right, there is no freaking parking in the City of Windsor. Well, there is, as we eventually found one, but when you are driving a stick shift on the wrong side of the road through what feels like one constant round-a-bout, it gets stressful. So, take the train.

Cool! We got to go the top, very much worth the couple extra Pounds.

Cool! We got to go the top, very much worth the couple extra Pounds.

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See, I told you it was cool from up top.

See, I told you it was cool from up top.

 

And from the very top.

And from the very top.

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That flag on top meant the Queen wasn't home right now. Courtney was very dissapointed the royal babies didn't grant her an audience.

That flag on top meant the Queen wasn’t home right now. Courtney was very disappointed the royal babies didn’t grant her an audience.

There was this really interesting old car show going on, but they weren't allowing the us peasants access.

There was this really interesting old car show going on, but they weren’t allowing us peasants access.

After that, we returned the car and took the train into London. You are never going to be able to guess what we did there!!! (The answer is pubs…its always pubs.)

 

A Week in Europe – Part 1: Stonehenge, Avebury, and Windsor Palace
A Week in Europe – Part 2: London – Pubs, Pubs, Pubs, and Pubs (Coming soon!!!)
A Week in Europe – Part 3: London – Palaces and Touristy Stuff (Coming soon!!!)
A Week in Europe – Part 4: Amsterdam – Red Lights and Canal Dreams (Coming soon!!!)
A Week in Europe – Part 5: Holland – Beach, Beer, and Biking (Coming soon!!!)

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