Showing posts with label Castles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Castles. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Windsor Castle- The Oldest Inhabited Castle in the World


One day in August 2009, I embarked on a guided bus Tour to Windsor CastleBath and Stonehenge. I thought it would be wise to do so to understand the in depth historical background of each town I visited, without refferring to my guide book every five minutes. Windsor Castle was our first stop, I decided I didn't want to go in, somehow following a tour guide on a very glib and fast tour of this amazing castle didn't appeal to me. So, I decided that because  I was not a tourist and I lived in London, I knew I could come back and see the castle in all it's splendor in my normal gingerly fashion that I am accustomed to. So, I let the tour guide know, I wasn't going to enter so she wouldn't think the poor American girl didn't dissappear, and got lost in the enormous castle grounds. After that,I proceeded  in my joful solitude to go to the local pastry shop for a pot of Earl Grey tea and crumpet. After that, I wandered to the closest church yard and took a nap on the bench, (since I had only slept 4 hours the night because of my excitement), which by the way had tombstones around. I was blissfully dozing off, when I began to hear raucous sounds coming vaguely from the periphery and then building up. I wasn't very happy to be woken up, but to my amazement as I woke up what I saw before my eyes was the most beautiful array of gorgeous English soldiers marching majestically in predictable pomp and circumstance right pass me. I jumped from my bench, shook my head in awe, grabbed my camera and like some reporter from the National Geographic I ran after them as if my life depended on it.







I followed them around the corner to the front entrance of Windsor Castle. To my amazement, it was the Changing of the Gaurds. I hadn't wanted to see the Changing of the Gaurd at Buckingham Palace, it was always very low on my list, or if I wanted to see it I never seem to be able to go to Buckingham Palace on a day they were scheduled.  And so here it was in plain sight, when I least expected it. I must add, it was a beauty to behold. The majesty. The pomp and circumstance that the English are famous for, and of course, the Catholic Church. It  made it an unforgettable experience, one I shall always remember.





Queen's Guard are the names given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London and in Windsor

 .Sentries of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment being posted in Windsor.



So does everyone else. I know it's cheesy but I had to put this photo in here.
After all,  They all look like they
are from Kansas City.


Built by William the Conqueror within what was a royal hunting forest (now Windsor Great Park) after theNorman conquest of 1066, Windsor Castle has been successively enlarged, adapted and rebuilt by monarchs from Henry II to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family continue to spend most of their private weekends at the Castle and it remains an important venue for ceremonial visits from heads of state from other countries. It is also home to some of the greatest paintings and works of art in the Royal Collection, which are displayed throughout the Castle’s splendid interiors. On your visit you will see the State Apartments, the Precincts, the Drawings Gallery, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel (except on Sundays when the Chapel is closed to visitors). Please allow at least 2 hours for your visit

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Wordless Wednesdays - Discipline

                                          

Taken from my Archives 2009: Admiralty Arch 
The Malls regal entrance was built in 1910. 

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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wordless Wednesdays- Movement


                                            Take from My Archives 2009: Trafalgar Square

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Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Wordless Wednesdays -1 Flower Mission


                            Taken from  my Archives 2009:Chez Michelle  - Borough Market

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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Taplow Court -The Buddhist Castle in The UK


The Apple Orchard at Taplow Court

When I first came to London and didn't know a soul, I went straight away to see beautiful stunning Taplow Court, the home of SGI-UK, hoping to meet some new Buddhist friends. I know as a Buddhist that wherever I go in the world the Buddhist will give me a warm welcome and befriend me as if I was their own sister or daughter.To that I am certain.I am extremely very grateful of being a part of such a humanistic organization as SGI-Soka Gakka International, that encourages Peace, Culture and Education.



My second day in London, I believe it was a Saturday, I took a train from Paddington to Maidenhead ( about an hour). Viewing the English countryside from the vantage point of your window as the train speeds by a deluge of green is most relaxing and inspiring. Something about train rides makes you feel so refreshed and helps clear out all the cobwebs from one's mind. Once you arrive in Maidenhead train station,(in The Berkshires), the SGI-UK has a shuttle waiting to take you to Taplow Court. Very Classy. Taplow Court is what my friends in London call their,"castle".



Taplow Court in the Spring

Taplow Court, a mid 19th century mansion set high above the Thames near Maidenhead, is the home of SGI-UK, a lay Buddhist society.In the 18th century, Taplow Court was the home of the Earls and Countesses of Orkney.



SGI-UK
is part of a world-wide network in 192 countries that aims to contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world through educational and cultural activities based on the philosophy of the 13th century Japanese sage,Nichiren Daishonin. Nicheren Daishonin taught that each person can transform not only their own lives, but also society and the environment,by revealing their most positive and creative potential through the practice of Buddhism.


Since many of the Buddhist Centers are not open during the day, during the week, I would often frequent Taplow Court in the middle of the week.
This particular day, the current ambassador of Thailand (Sorry, but I am rubbish with names),was to arrive and a big party held. Story has it one of his relatives had sojourned there some 100 years before.As luck would have it, I was in the right place at the right time,and was invited to the party and got to meet him along with other Thai dignitaries.


Please call Taplow Court a few hours in advance to reserve the shuttle. The Trains do not go directly to Taplow on Sunday and you have to exit Maidenhead.If you'd like to eat a luscious gourmet lunch in the hall, please call before 11 a.m. to reserve.


Taplow Court
SGI-UK National Centre
Taplow Court Grand Cultural Centre
Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0ER
Tel: 01628-773-163
Fax: 01628-773-055


The Buddha in Your Mirror: Practical Buddhism and the Search for Self

The Buddha in Your Mirror: Practical Buddhism and the Search for Self


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