Wednesday June 7th
Our day starts early again today, as we have to get up at 6:00am in order to get to the tour on time. We needed to be at Victoria Coach Station (the bus station) by 8:00am so that the bus could leave on-time at 8:10am. Our return time was scheduled for 7:00pm. After the tour, we have dinner reservations at "Porter's English Restaurant" on Henrietta St. By the time we get back to the room after dinner, there should be just enough time to get today's wealth of information onto the web site and get tomorrow's day planned out.
Our tour today starts with a two hour drive to Warwick Castle, so I am taking the opportunity to get a little ahead, and I'm writing this while we're on the trip.
Once again, we have selected Premium Tours for our tour today. Our bus driver today is Phil, and our tour guide is Damien. We left on time this morning, at 8:10, and we left before Hilton (our driver on Monday and Tuesday) who was driving the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath tour again (the tour that we took yesterday). Somehow however, Hilton had gotten ahead of us before we were 5 minutes away from Victoria Coach Station. Their bus was right next to ours at one of the traffic lights, and Damien told us that Hilton was driving his bus in the British Gran Prix this weekend, and last year he came in 3rd place. I can tell we have a good tour guide today. He has a good sense of humor. This really keeps the tour from becoming dry.
When in Stratford-upon-Avon today, we will be visiting Shakespeare's birthplace. While in Oxford, we will be going to Christ Church College, and getting a tour there. This is the school that is used as the famous Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter movies. Finally, we will be driving through the Cotswalds, where there is alot of unique architecture, using stone for buildings, but having thatched roofs, similar I guess, to the Shakespeare's Globe Theater. The guide says there are many cottages there with this design, which is similar to many of the Dickens Village cottages.
The tour finishes up back at Victoria Station at 7:30, so the plan is to go to Harrods when we return. We may be able to get them to drop us off very near Harrods so we won't have far to walk. The bus today is not full. It looks like we have only about 15 or 20 people today, roughly half of the bus is empty. Hopefully, this will prevent delays due to stragglers.
Once again, we have a beautiful sunny day. The high is expected to reach the mid 70's where we will be, and there is about 40% cloud cover, but the sun is out and shining. Hopefully this will allow me to use a 50 ISO setting on the camera and afford some good outdoor pictures today. I got about 140 pictures yesterday, we'll see how many I can get today. I did learn yesterday, that having the wide-angle lens on the camera didn't produce the results I was looking for. Apparently, when using the wide-angle lens, your shots must be close-ups. Even when focused to infinity, I couldn't get a shot of a building that was 50ft away. The camera just wouldn't focus that far. I have the wide angle lens with me today, but I don't think I'll be using it.
We will be eating today at The Bell Bed & Breakfast. Overhearing the conversation between the bus driver and the tour guide, it looks like we have a new menu for lunch today. The bus driver is making a selection from the menu so it appears that he will be eating also.