Tuesday - April 2, 2002

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Kensington Palace
St. Mary Abbots Church
Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel
Escalator musician

Woke up to a nice sunny day.  Today we planned a palace and castle day.  Started with Kensington Palace where Princess Diana and Prince Charles lived.  The palace tour took us to many of the rooms and an impressive display of Princess Di's dresses and pictures of the occasions when worn.  Each dress was only worn once.  The gardens were well cared for with a huge park next to the palace.  Since it was so interesting, we spent all morning there.

Just a short distance from the palace we saw a beautiful old church not on our itinerary.  We picked up some literature in the back of the church.  It was St. Mary Abbots Church.  The history of the church is on the photo page.  What a nice surprise!

Close by was an upscale shopping district where we window shopped on the way to the Underground.  Had to get to Paddington Station to get the train for Windsor Castle.  We waited until the afternoon since we knew the Queen Mother's casket was to be moved to St. James Palace chapel in London - many streets would be closed.  

When we arrived at Windsor Castle the crowds were sparse and the castle grounds were open to the public.  The public was allowed into St. George's Chapel to sign a condolence book.  We elected to enter the castle through the regular admission gate - no crowds.  There is a great exhibition of the castle history and interesting pictures and details of the devastating fire in 1992.  It took 5 years to restore the fire damage.  We actually walked through most of the restored area next to the living quarters of the royal family (the place where the Queen Mother died only a few days before).  

The castle is very impressive on top of a hill with the town just outside the gate.  Inside St. George's Chapel we again signed a condolence book and witnessed people laying flowers on a grassy area in front of the chapel.

We spent some time in the local town before heading back to London.  At Paddington Station we were greeted by musicians at the foot of the escalator.  Most days musicians were entertaining in the Underground stations.  This was the first time they were in costume.

Then we called it a day.  We found a small middle-eastern restaurant only a block from our hotel that had some great vegan food.

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