Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Hilton Kensington (London, England)

Tuesday was my travel day from Plymouth to London. As usual I was up early to clean and pack so I could be ready by 9:30. My Airbnb host said she would like to meet up before I leave for the train station. We had a great chat before she called for my taxi. When the taxi arrived we hugged and I was on my way.

Fairly uneventful going from Plymouth to London. It didn’t seem like the trip took nearby three hours but it did and we pulled into Paddington station on time. From Paddington I took the underground to Notting Hill and from there to Shepherd’s Bush station and walked the short distance to the hotel. For dinner I picked up few items from a local Waitrose and I was all set. Tomorrow I’ll leave for Arundel where I’ll meet up with Paula.

Wednesday morning I was up and ready for my Hilton breakfast. No changes from the last time I was here. Yesterday I found out that I’m on my tenth stay at this Hilton. By now I know my way around fairly well.

As I was leaving to meet the train to Arundel at Victoria station it was good that I thought the train at 9:26 instead of 9:36. It gave me the extra boost to hurry up to get ready and leave the hotel so I can make the connections that would get me to Victoria station.

Once on the train I needed to move a few times to ensure that I was in the part of the train that was going to Arundel. The train separated just after the Gatwick airport stop and we continued on our journey to Arundel.

The station in Arundel is a bit of a walk from the town center but it was good day for a walk and I met up with Paula at the town’s museum. We sat and talked on a nearby park bench before she suggested we tour the nearby castle. She had mentioned earlier that we could tour a nearby castle and true to my pattern of not doing any research beforehand we walked up to the castle.

I thought it was probably ruins of some ancient castle but I was surprised to learn that it was quite large and quite up-to-date since it was the current home of the Duke of Norfolk and his family. This is why I don’t do research beforehand. I like to be surprised. We bought our tickets and a cart took us old folk up the hill to the castle entrance.

It was nearby 1:00 when we arrived at the castle and saw that there was a full cafeteria near the entrance. We decided to have a bite to eat before starting our tour. We found a good selection of food and sat down and talked for nearly an hour before we decided we should start walking around the castle.

The section of the castle we toured were the castle’s “state rooms” and used for official guests, like the Queen, and also guest bedrooms. The Duke and his family currently live in the east wing of the castle. I figured out why the Duke of Norfolk was familiar, the current Duke’s father directed the coordination for both George VI and the current Queen. The Duke of Norfolk is considered to be one of the highest ranking Dukes. No wonder this castle was so big.

After our tour we walked over to a nearby tea shop and had afternoon tea and talked some more. Paula hasn’t made any final decisions about meeting up with me in August, but we talked about the various options and she will make a decision in the next few weeks.

My trip back to London was, for the most part, was uneventful. Though I took the wrong train from Victoria and had to back track a little before getting on a train where I could transfer to the line that stopped at a station near by hotel.

I had picked up a sandwich at Victoria station and I was set for the evening. I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow. I’ll wait and see what I feel like doing once I wake up tomorrow.

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