October, 1990 – Trip to England and Scotland
October 18, 1990
LAX Airport. Los
Well here I am waiting.
We had to arrive at the airport early to make seat reservations. It’s about 2:05
here and about 10:05 in London. Our flight was delayed from 5:30 to 6:40. As I said, I’m waiting. It’s pretty busy down here. There isn’t much to do, either, but it’s
definitely worth it.
October 19, 1990.
Aboard a British Airways 747
We’ve been having a lot of turbulence. At one point I thought the plane was going to
drop out of the sky. It’s about 2:20 a.m USA
and about 11:20 UK
time. Our plane was not only delayed, it
was also, on top of being delayed, late.
We took off at about 8:00 USA
time. I just looked out the window. I can see the wing and we are way above the
clouds. Even though it’s about 2:40 USA
time now, it’s light out. It was weird
flying into daylight.
October 19, 1990
We’re here. I can’t
wait to see our hotel. We’re on our way
to the hotel now. After we check in, we’re going out for dinner and
sightseeing. I love it here
October 20, 1990
I was so exhausted last night I fell asleep before I had the
time to make an entry in my journal. Our
hotel is great. We are real close to a
tube station and our street has lots of great shops. We went to Hever
Castle today. I got a really neat book of letters between
Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. I bought a
porcelain doll. She is dressed in black
and white and has a gorgeous face. At Hever
we went through the maze. People went
though the mazes to entertain themselves.
I only got through to one corner.
We also went to a 15th Century church, where Thomas Boleyn,
Anne Boleyn’s father, prayed. In the
castle, we saw Anne Boleyn’s bedroom and her book of hours that she took to her
execution. We also saw a set of baby
clothes that Elizabeth I made for
her half-sister, Mary.
October 21, 1990
Aboard an Intercity Train to York
We are on our way to York
on an intercity train now. The trains
can go up to 120 miles per hour. There
is a café on board but the line is five miles long so it doesn’t do me any
good. We had to be up by 5:30 to catch a taxi at 6:30, arrive at the station at 7:00, board by 7:30
and leave by 8:15. Right now it is 9:06.
October 21, 1990
The Lounge of the Viking Hotel
We did so much today I don’t know where to start. We left on the train at 8:15. The ride was
great and we finally got through the lines to the snack bar. It was very foggy. We arrived at York
about 11:20 and walked to our hotel
since it was only a 2 minute walk. When
we were checking in, we found out our room wasn’t ready for us yet so we had to
go start our sightseeing. We went to
York Minster, a huge medieval cathedral.
York Minster has half the medieval stained glass in all of England. I was pretty surprised to see that even
though most of the medieval glass is in York Minster, lots of it was put out by
bombs in the war. We also went to
Clifford’s Tower, the remains of the keep of a Norman castle. Clifford’s Tower was on a high hill and on
top of that the tower was about two stories tall. I climbed to the top. The view was amazing. After that we went to the York Story
Attraction. It was like a museum. We ate dinner in a small restaurant that had
been standing in one section from the 14th Century. We also went to the ruins of St. Mary’s
Abbey. It’s hard to explain the
atmosphere there. It was really quiet,
one or two walls were still standing. We
walked along the York city wall as
well. It was a long walk, but seeing the
view made it worthwhile. We saw
something that I thought was very interesting – there were about two or three
street painters. The pictures weren’t
quick sketches either. They were really
realistic. One guy we saw even drew a
picture of one of the medieval stained glass windows showing a religious
scene. When we got back to the hotel, I
found out that I had got to have my own room.
October 22, 1990
Lounge of the Mount Royal Hotel
Today we went to Edinburgh
Castle. The castle is on a very steep hill and we can
see it from our hotel room. Our new
hotel in Scotland
is nice. Edinburgh
Castle was very old. The oldest part of the castle is over 900
years old. That means it was built in
about 1050. The castle was paved in
cobblestones and the guards had on dress-type shoes so whenever they walked
down a hill or even up a hill they kept slipping.
October 23, 1990
McDonalds in Inverness, Scotland
I just saw Loch Ness.
I (shucks) didn’t see Nessie. We
went to the Monster Museum
and saw all the possibilities of what Nessie could be. I think it’s a plesiosaur. I think there are more than one of them. We also went to Urquhart
Castle. The castle is built right at the edge of the
loch. In Scotland,
Loch means lake. Urquhart
Castle is a ruins, although there
are still certain rooms left. There is
also a four story staircase up to a walkway. Our train had no brakes. It was an interconnecting train that we had
to change on to. We ended up on a bus. I
think we probably got a better view on the bus, anyway.
October 24, 1990
Today we went to Holyrood House. The Holyrood House was built 200, 300, 400,
or 500 years depending on where you were in the Palace. In one spot, Queen Mary of Scots secretary
was murdered in front of Mary. The King
(who helped murder the secretary) thought that the shock might cause Mary to
have a miscarriage. The King didn’t want
the baby to be born because he didn’t want to have to bow to his son as a
monarch. In one room of the palace there
were paintings of all the Kings up to Charles II. Charles II had them made and gave the artist
only one week to paint each portrait.
Charles also had the painter make each relative strongly resemble
Nobody knew if Queen Mary helped murder her second husband,
Lord Darnley. Our guide said Lord
Darnley was, (how can I put this) blown up.
But my guidebook said he was found strangled.
October 25, 1990
We went to the British
Museum today. I saw the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone is a plaque containing the
same story written in three languages.
Latin, Hieroglyphics and Hieratic.
(The cursive way of Hieroglyphics).
Using this stone, or plaque, people can now decipher ancient
Hieroglyphics and Hieratic stories, documents and anything else written in the
two languages. We also saw the Portland
Vase. The vase was broken once and put
together very poorly, so to be able to display this vase, it had to be rebroken
and redone. The vase is so important because
it is said to be the finest example of cameo art known. At the museum, I saw something I really
thought was really neat, there were about 35 (that we saw) artists sitting on
benches or near exhibits and drawing things in the museum! Some of the drawings were extremely
good. We also saw the mummy rooms. In the rooms, there were about 10 Egyptian
mummies. One mummy was unwrapped. It didn’t look that bad. It wasn’t even rotting.
October 26, 1990
I don’t remember much on the train because I was asleep, so
I’ll start from when we got to the city.
It was pretty cold and raining off and on, we had some sun though. I love walking around the city. There were many different shops. I thought it was strange that everything
closed down at 4, even pubs only served drinks, no food, after 4. We also went to Canterbury Cathedral. The Cathedral is 900 years old. There are a lot of old stained glass windows
there. Canterbury Cathedral is the site
of St. Thomas Becket’s murder. Henry II
in anger said: “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest”? Three of his knights took him seriously. They went to Canterbury
where Thomas was praying and cut off the crown of his head. We ate lunch in Queen Elizabeth’s Guest Room,
so called because one night, in 1573, Elizabeth
I spent the night in this room interviewing a French prince. Elizabeth
was thinking of marrying this prince.
My doll was stolen.
Someone came, said they were me, and collected the doll. I got my money back and they are looking for
October 27, 1990
Tower of London
Today we went to the Tower
of London. We were going to go to Leeds
Castle, but the trains to Leeds
weren’t running. We are still going to Leeds,
but on a weekday. I like the Tower just
as well as I would have probably have liked Leeds. The Tower
of London’s white tower was built
by William the Conqueror. The remains of
a 900 year old Roman wall are scattered around the castle. There is also a wall around the Castle. The wall is about 800 years old and housed
guards and served as a storeroom.
We also saw the place where thousands of people were
executed. They didn’t do it in the
Tower, but outside the Tower. Among
those who were executed were Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, two of Henry
VIII’s wives, and Lady Jane Grey, uncrowned queen after nine days at the age of
15. After being executed the bodies
were literally thrown under the stones in the Chapel of St. Peter Ad Vincula. One Hundred years ago the chapel’s floors
were dug up. 1,500 bodies were then
revealed. 33 were identified, among them
were Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, Lord Guilford Dudley and
The Yeoman Warders, more commonly known as Beefeaters, got
their strange nicknames because their duties in medieval times were to taste
the King’s food to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. The King was only served beef so they
actually were beefeaters. I bought
another doll. She is pink and silver and
has almost the same face as the last one.
October 28, 1990
Today we visited Windsor
Castle. We spent most of our time in the city
although we did go to Queen Mary’s dollhouse.
The dollhouse isn’t some cheap, plastic tiny old toy. If it were a little bigger, you could live in
it. The water runs, the lights have
switches, and go on and off. The locks
have tiny keys and there is even a wine cellar with bottles of wine. Each bottle really has wine in it. The dollhouse is taller than me and has well
over 15 rooms. As well as a garage with
over 7 cars. A wine cellar with
thousands of miniature bottles filled with wine and a garden with a lawnmower
(enough already) and rosebushes, pine trees and almost anything else
imaginable. Of course, it would be a
waste to have such an extravagant dollhouse and no dolls, so Queen Mary has
many dolls with changes of clothes and many accessories. Among them, about 10 pocket knives (remember,
everything works), about eleven pairs of scissors, a deck of tiny playing
cards, a set of dominoes that are so small you can hardly see the dots, china
and tableware and (my personal favorite), a bowlful of tiny British coins.
I liked the city of Windsor
just as well if not more. There were a
number of quaint shops lining the cobblestoned alleys and streets. The original Woods of Windsor perfume shop is
still standing and selling perfume from a recipe created in the 1700’s. I just had to get something. Since I had been there before I had already chosen
the Forget-Me-Not scent line. I got some
handcream, soap and shampoo, all in the same fragrance.
October 29, 1990
When people say Leeds
Castle is the most beautiful place
on earth, they are right. The castle is
surrounded by a heavily wooded park and when you first spot the castle, you
feel like you are in a picture book. It
is truly beautiful. The castle is built
on two islands so it is totally surrounded in water. The castle was built that way because the Normans
thought it would be easy to defend a fortress surrounded by water. The fortress was built of wood but soon it
was rebuilt of stone. Henry VIII made
the castle a royal residence and added many features, including an
upstairs. In the 1930’s Lady Baillie
added an aviary to the grounds. I had
quite a conversation with a talkative mynah bird. He could say “good morning”,”hello”, he could
whistle and he loved saying “WOW”. If
you say “how are you?” or “good morning”, he would say “WOW”. It got annoying. We also went through the maze. It was really difficult. While my Dad was at the hill in the center,
it started to rain and my Mom and I were still lost. We didn’t have an umbrella. My Dad had it. My Dad was on the hill in the center so he
could see the whole maze and guide us through it. Once you are in the center,
you go into the cave and there are three thrones and lots of statues of ancient
October 30, 1990
The first place we went today was Warwick
Castle. The castle started as a wooden fort in
1068. But from 1260 to 1450, stone walls
and many towers were added making up the castle known today. Most of the Earls of Warwick lived in the
is practically right next to the River Avon.
Tomorrow we are going to Stratford Upon Avon.
We also went to the ruins of Kenilworth
Castle. Strangely enough, the castle is made of
pinkish brown sandstone. Some parts of
the castle are still standing, but just the walls. In 1575 for 19 days, Queen Elizabeth visited Kenilworth
Castle. The Queen had given the castle to her
October 31, 1990
Stratford Upon Avon
Today we went to Stratford Upon Avon. I’ve wanted to go there ever since I was
6. I was so glad we finally got
We saw Shakespeare’s birthplace. The two-story cottage rented for 6
pence. The cottage seemed very spacious
for its time. There were about 8 large
rooms. Some of the treasures in the
house are a school desk from Shakespeare’s school, a 17th century
cradle and 17th century childminder. We also went to Westminster
Abbey. We went there because every Wednesday you can take all the pictures you
want in the Abbey.