Saturday - March 30, 2002

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Kew Gardens
Town of Kew Gardens
Walking along the Thames
Oxford-Cambridge Race
Chiswick House

Since the sun was shining we decided to go to southwest part of London to see Kew Gardens and then the Oxford-Cambridge boat race.  Our hotel provided daily newspapers so we knew about this famous rivalry and could not pass it up. 

After visiting Kew Gardens we planned to take the train close to the start of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race.  But after asking direction in the small town of Kew, we walked about a half mile to the Thames River, then about a mile or two along the banks to the finish line.  We had front row seats for the race.  The race is 4.5 miles and takes about 16 minutes to complete.  The reserves from both schools started about 30 minutes before the real race.  Oxford won both races.  It was an exciting race with less than a boat length difference.  There was a lot of hollering at the end of each race.

Since we walked quite a way from Kew Gardens, we did not want to go back that way.  Besides we wanted to see Chiswick House that seemed to be close-by in Chiswick Park and maybe still have time to go to Windsor Castle.  Those plans changed when we got lost.  We must have walked a few miles before asking the local constable for directions.  He advised us to ride the bus since we had a few more miles to go - at least we were headed in the right direction.  After leaving the Chiswick House we took the local bus to the train station at Hammersmith and checked out the area (including a shopping mall) around the station before returning to London and our hotel.  We were thoroughly exhausted after a full day.

That evening we heard on the news that the Queen Mother had died at 3:15 p.m. at Windsor Castle.  If we had made it to Windsor, we would have been in the middle of all the fuss surrounding her death.  Oh well! 

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