This morning we had an agenda. Our train left Windsor shortly after 9 am. But it is a short walk up the town.
James insisted that I should be in a picture too. He said "go stand next to my sister". Bad hair day and I was still smoothing it out.
I love trains. St Stephen's Church on the left.
Windsor Castle on the right. The streaks from the planes going into Heathrow make quite a pattern.
Windsor -Slough. Change!
Slough - Paddington. Change!
Underground: Paddington -Edgware Road. Change!
Underground: Edgware - King's Cross. Change!
King's Cross is an impressive train station building.
We were a little delayed here because of a broken rail somewere but only about 30 minutes. Otherwise all the other changes were almost hop off -hop on.
You have to wait at the board to see what platform and then you go to your train. It was the same in Spain.
James and I had assigned seats. Jane didn't (buying the tickets online had been a bit of an adventure) but it wasn't an issue because there were empty ones.
My assigned place.
As always - - quite interesting looking out of the window.
Grantham! Our destination! When we went to Windsor station the day before to pick up the tickets we had ordered online we were supposed to look for a machine. We couldn't find one though. So we went to the ticket window. When we asked the gentleman where the machine was he said "I am the machine". Then he asked why in the world we would go to Grantham? James told him we would meet a brother. Oh! Then he told us that Grantham was famous to have the hottest curry and if you could eat it you would get it for free (something like that).
Stephen was there waiting for us and took us with his car to Belton House.
We parked on a huge grassy area and then walked to a little ticket house where we found out that it was closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Oh well.
Back to the car. Stephen told us though that the silhouette of the house supposedly was the inspiration for the brown highway signs alerting to these kind of places worth visiting.
We could have bought tickets to visit the park but we couldn't quite see that being worth it for 11 pounds each when the house was closed.
It was time for lunch anyway. Stephen suggested the cafè in the garden center just across the street. It was a great choice. One of the specials for the day was lamb. Yummy! There was also delicious gravy not in the picture. You might not be able to see that next to the roasted potatoes where roasted parsnip.
Nobody wanted dessert but when James went to order coffee he came back telling us that the lady in front of him had ordered "gooseberry cheesecake". Can you leave without having tried that?
Time to leave but just a quick photo of the siblings. It was great to have this time with Stephen. I had not seen him in (?) years. We had looked forward to meeting Jill again too but she couldn't come.
We had to leave through the garden center again and had to snoop a little of course. They had such interesting things. James said he was happy that everything was too heavy to take home or not allowed such as plants or live flowers etc.
Stephen brought us back to the train station but there was still time before the train. It did have a Starbucks so we had another coffee. First we had exchanged some gifts at the open car boot. Over coffee Stephen showed us some pictures on his iPad of their beautiful garden, the cute dogs and ducks.
Then it was time for the train and to say good-bye. I hope it is not going to be so many years again. Stephen has such a wonderful humor and knows interesting things.
This time we sat on the other side and other things were to see.
We saw fields of solar energy collectors. This photo just shows a tiny part. Kind of ugly (sorry).
We saw only a few wind energy mills.
We traced back the same way except we didn't have to change at Edgware Road. So we did a total of 9 trains that day but everything went really smoothly and easily. In the underground we had a lovely conversation with an airline stewardess going to Heathrow. She was reading "The girl on the train".
In Slough we had to run because we were a little late from Paddington. I could hear over the loudspeaker "passengers to Windsor should make their way to platform 1 as fast and safely as possible".
The sun was setting and the sky was so pretty. Didn't quite catch it.
We were not hungry at all so we just had a steaming delicious (homemade from the garden but from the freezer) tomato soup and salad. Perfect.
A little time in the living room and then it's time for bed.