…and here we go!

Originally posted: 6 July, 2017

I left Canberra at 11:30pm on a direct flight to Singapore, plane was a bit dated and the movie selection was super average. But overall the flight was pretty good, I slept most of the way which was nice. Arrived in Singapore at 5:45am, had 7 hours to kill before my next flight. Got on the Wifi, went to check my emails BAM “Your login is suspicious, we have sent a code to your mobile please enter code”. You what mate? Obviously I can’t check my phone for texts in Singapore, so long story short I can’t access my emails until 4 August and now have to rely on my darling sister back home to check that nothing important comes in. Makes me so mad, seriously I have used my email all over the world never had issues, WHY NOW?!?!

While at the airport I visited the butterfly garden, pretty cool to have that inside the airport. I avoided the duty free shops because I’m now a super budget traveller (we’ll see how that goes), apparently there is a massive slide somewhere but I didn’t care enough to try find it.

Flight to London left on time at 12:35, 13 hour flight went reasonably fast. This plane was a lot newer which makes me happy, sat next to an Irish couple? I think they were a couple, but they didn’t talk once the entire trip (unless they had sneaky chats while I was snoozing and bobbing my head all over the place). This guy though, he was no joke eating non stop the whole flight. It was so bizarre, an hour did not pass where he did not ask for a tuna sandwich, or an apple, drinking bulk beverages the whole time. I’ve never seen anyone eat so much on a plane, I honestly didn’t realise you could get that much food on a plane and I felt like I should take advantage of it, but I didn’t… because I wasn’t hungry.

The plane landed at Heathrow at about 7pm and it was 31 degrees! Beat most of the people to immigration queue, when it was my turn I said I was meeting my friend who lives here before we fly to Iceland. Suddenly it was 20 questions about my friend. Who is she, how long has she been here for, what type of visa does she have, is it a working visa, how long does she plan on staying. Was a bit confused as to why I was being interrogated about my friend and not about myself but fair enough.

Got my bags and went through customs, bought a SIM and a bottle of H2O for rehydration and was requesting an Uber at 8:30pm! Uber took a long time to come because the usual pick up area was being worked on which resulted in chaos between Uber drivers, taxis and other people doing pick-ups. One of the taxi drivers was going mental about Uber drivers how they ruin everything etc. Got in my Uber and 20-30 minutes later arrived at my hotel in Windsor! Amazing location, directly across from Windsor Castle. Got up to the room, threw myself on my bed and was thinking of getting ready for bed but conveniently passed out straight away.

It’s probably worth mentioning that I was meant to only spend one night in Windsor before flying out the following afternoon to Iceland. But due to a ahem stuff up with dates I now had two nights. Nothing wrong with that really.., just that I had to casually mention to dad I made a mistake on first part of my trip. Sorry Dad, I promise I’m an adult.

My face when I had to tell Dad I stuffed up first part of my trip

Moving on… I woke up a couple of hours later at about 1:30am, said hi to the family. Dad told me off for being awake when I should be asleep and getting my body clock right, it’s not like he’s wrong… but sometimes sleep just comes and slaps you in the face and you can’t fight it (still working on that adulting thing)!

View of Windsor Castle from the hotel breakfast room.

Went back to sleep and woke up at about 7am, by the time I got myself ready I was out the door at about 9am. Walked around a bit trying to decide what to do then decided to head straight to Windsor Castle as originally planned. Went straight in, no lines which was nice, and picked up headphones for the audio tour (I love audio tours!).

Audio tour was very informative, I walked through St George’s Chapel, the State Room’s and the Queen’s Doll Collection. I can’t remember everything and wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside and I’m all about not breaking laws in foreign countries, but some fun facts were;

  • Saw King Edward III’s sword, holy moly it was huge! I legit think it was taller than me, I don’t understand how you could even hold that up??
  • In 1992 there was a fire that burnt down a huge part of the castle, when they restored the St George’s Hall ceiling they used old techniques, so when you look at the wooden beams on ceiling you can see that the wood is uneven at the joinings and has cracks. This is because they used green wood that was freshly cut so that it could be easily shaped and over time as it dries out it shrinks!
  • On the ceiling they had the shields of various knights throughout time, there were a few random blank white ones, these were knights who had their knighthood stripped for whatever reason and they were left up there so that everyone could see their shame.

After visiting the Castle I wandered a bit more around the streets and decided to get on the hop-on hop-off bus. It was so much better than I thought it would be, there was an audio guide (instant winner) It was about an hour all up, drove around Windsor, Eton and a bit of the countryside. Saw Windsor Castle at multiple angles, Eton College, a blue post box which commemorates the first airmail that was done in 1911. Three planes took off to deliver mail and only one made it there safely, oh dear. Windsor farm which is where the castle gets all its fresh produce, when the King and Queen are in residence they use the same back entrance that the produce gets brought in. Bunch of other places, overall a really good tour of the area!

Finished the tour at 2:30, had a bite to eat then headed down to River Thames. Got super excited about seeing white Swans, I’m sure I have probably seen them before but I don’t remember it so it was really great. Hopped on a river cruise, I got a discount with my bus ticket. Such a waste of time/money, 40 minute ride up and down the Thames, saw nothing exciting, couldn’t hear the commentary because the kids in front were going mental, the few bits of it I did hear was just them advertising other boat tours that their company did. Cool mate.

Got off the boat, took lots of swan pictures which was fun then headed back to the room. Got back at about 5:30pm. I was going to have a bit of a sit down and repack my bags before heading out to dinner. But… I fell asleep. Whoopsie. Woke at 11:30pm, decided not to mention that in my message I sent to the family, I guess they will find out when reading this (sorry Dad I promise I’ll get my body clock back to normal tonight… unless I fall asleep again)

Stayed up for a bit to repack my bag then went back to sleep, woke at about 6am. Showered and went downstairs, had breakfast at the hotel restaurant, sat at a table that looked out at the castle which was really nice. Had 2 hours before check out so thought I’d go for a quick wander, stumbled across a plaque for the Queens Walkway, a 2 hour self guided walking tour. That would have been nice to know yesterday. It was 9:20, so I spent 10 minutes trying to decide if I could do a 2 hour walk in less than that time. At 9:30 I was like yep I can do this and headed off. I ended up sort of following the route but skipping lots of bits, partially because I thought I was taking shortcuts but really I was going nowhere near the sights, I blame their dodgy instructions. The bits that I did see though were great, Long Walk, few historic streets, Victoria Barracks, statue of the Queen and her corgis! If I ever come back I want to do it properly, the online guide I found had lots of information that if anyone is interested you can read here.

I went back past the River Thames to get more swan pictures, lost track of time and had

to race back to the hotel. Ran upstairs, grabbed my bag then went down to check out. Waited about half an hour in the lobby for my taxi. Watched the hoards of tourists lining up for Windsor Castle, so glad I went the day before because I swear the line was about a 1km long. Policewoman was walking back and forth along the road yelling at tourists to get off the road because you know cars might hit you etc, so dumb.

Queue for Windsor Castle

Headed to the airport, and met Sian! So great to see her after a year, and now we are flying to Iceland for a 2 week adventure yay! Flight was delayed over an hour, something about them not having any flight attendants available for our flight, what?

So that’s all for now, I will post an Iceland update soon!

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Hey, I'm Shannon!
I've been travelling since I was 6 years old and have been lucky enough to visit 70 countries! From overlanding through Africa and road-tripping in Samoa to Salsa-ing in Cuba and visiting wineries in India. I love new adventures and can't wait to share them with you in this blog!