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What I did during my 14 hour London Layover

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It took me a decade to go back to London.  Not because I didn’t want to.  Life happened, and my plans changed.  Unfortunately, I was only there for the day on my way to Bangkok.  I left Friday, August 7, 2015, at 6:20 pm and arrived in London at 8:05 am on Saturday.  My next flight didn’t leave London at 10:05 pm on Saturday.  My total travel time to Bangkok time 37 hours and 50 minutes.

I figured the 14 hours layover in London Heathrow airport gives me the opportunity to do something.  I did a yahoo search and found a website that gave suggestions on what to do in the various city during layovers.  Many of the suggestions I had done on my first trip to London.  The one thing that stood out was going to Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world.  According to the website all I had to do was take the #77 bus to the castle.  The travel time was about 30 minutes.

When I arrived at customs in London, I almost thought I wouldn’t get in.  I gave the guard my passport and my ticket to Thailand.  She was looking at it a little puzzled.  She then asked why I was going to Thailand.  For a second I thought of making a joke and say drugs but realized that probably wouldn’t get me in or arrested.  I replied for vacation.  She said Americans don’t go to Thailand.  I replied that isn’t true, plenty of them do.  She looked at my passport and ticket a little longer and finally stamped me in.  Not sure what she was going to find on the passport and ticket.  After that I started thinking would Thailand let me in.  Would I be questioned the same way or worse?

I was a little confused about where exactly to go.  I followed the signs to the bus terminal and stopped at the help desk to confirm I was to take the #77 bus.  The guy was very helpful and told me where to stand.

It was the easiest bus ride I’d ever taken.  In no time we were at the castle.  It was crowded.  It was so crowded that they ran out of audio guide headsets giving you a tour of the differeimg_0062nt areas of the grounds.  I was told to come back to see if somewhere turned it but the area is pretty big.  I just read a couple of signs and took the usually pictures with the guard.

The changing of the guard’s ceremony was happening, but I had missed most of it when I arrived at the right location.  I think not having the headsets made the trip a lot shorter.

It was still something I can check off my list.  And no I did not see Will and Kate or the Queen. I still had a lot of time to kill, so I stopped and had lunch at what seemed like the only option.  A place that sells fish and chips.  I was there to charge my phone.

Luckily I did remember to ask the bus driver where to stand to get back to the airport.  I was pretty tired after the long flight from Chicago.  I just went back to the airport and took a nap.

dscn0419

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