Windsor Castle – Berkshire County England

Windsor Castle is the Royal Residence of Great Britain’s monarchy and is located in Berkshire County, England. The castle, originally a strategic defensive fortification, has seen numerous rebellions and wars throughout its thousand-year existence, and even went through a period of neglect in the 18th century.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle from the street

Situated on more than thirteen acres (five hectares), the castle was originally constructed by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Windsor is Europe’s longest occupied royal palace, beginning with Henry I, though George I and George II, in the 18th century, paid little attention to the property, preferring others.

Windsor Castle
South Wing of the Upper Ward

Early in the 19th century, George IV was elaborate in renovations of Windsor, spending approximately £300,000 ($503,000), the equivalent of £245 million ($411 million) in 2008,  to thoroughly refine and modernize the structures.

Windsor Castle
A Peak Inside

The royal palace is huge, at over 44,965 square meters (484,000 square feet) with more than 13,000 rooms. At present, there are an estimated 500 people living and working inside Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle
A View from the Gardens

When visiting anywhere near London, a visit to historically significant Windsor Castle is a must.

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Palace of Holyroodhouse aka Holyrood Palace – Edinburgh, Scotland

Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile, opposite Edinburgh Castle, sits the official residence of the Monarch of the United Kingdom, the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Palace of Holyrood HouseThe Palace was constructed by James IV, King of Scots, in the early 16th century, adjacent to Holyrood Abbey, which dates back to 1128. In 1650 fire destroyed the east range of the Palace and in 1671 complete reconstruction began, completed in 1679. The Baroque design of architect Sir William Bruce comprises four wings formed around a central courtyard, the quadrangle.

Palace of Holyrood HouseThe Palace has been the official residence of the Monarch of the United Kingdom since its founding, though there have been periods when the Palace was not utilized by the Crown, primarily when in disrepair. Queen Elizabeth II spends one week each year at Holyrood, during the summer, where she holds court and attends to her official duties.

Palace of Holyrood HouseThe Keeper of Holyrood House is viewed as an important role, so much so, that in 1646 King Charles I conferred the title 1st Duke of Hamilton, which is heritable. Descendents of the 1st Duke have retained this ever since.

Palace of Holyrood HouseThe Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots, are open to the public, although there is no photography allowed there, nor anywhere else inside. Despite the no photography restriction the Palace is certainly worth a visit, especially for history buffs. For paranormals, purportedly the naked ghost of Agnes Sampson (Bald Agnes), who was stripped and tortured in 1591 following her arrest and charge of witchcraft, roams the halls at Holyrood.

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Delta King Riverboat Hotel

The Delta King riverboat was christened, along with its sister ship, the Delta Queen, on May 20, 1927.   Their heritage includes partial construction in Glasgow, Scotland, and completion in Stockton, California.Delta King Hotel

The twin ships originally made 10-hour overnight runs between San Francisco and Sacramento, California, and would do this for the next 13 years.  This period, of course, covers the prohibition era when the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol was outlawed.  The stern wheel paddle boats would, however, feature not only fine dining, jazz bands and gambling but also … drinking, as consumption was not illegal.

During World War II, beginning in November, 1940, the Delta King and Delta Queen served as troop transport, floating barracks and hospital ships for the U.S. Navy.  Once relinquished by the Navy, the Delta Queen left for the Mississippi River, taking her twin’s engine as spare parts and leaving the King as a vessel to be towed from that point forward.

The Delta King found its way to various locations between California and Canada, but with no real purpose or significance.  In 1982 the boat mysteriously sank near Richmond, California, and remained under water for over a year.Delta King Hotel

When the Delta King was raised it was discovered that the damage was minor and was brought to Sacramento, completely renovated and converted into a permanently moored 44-room hotel, boasting two restaurants, two theaters, and a wine school.

The hotel itself is charming, especially when coupled with a unique history.  It seems, nowadays, that many hotels provide an abundance of room.  That is not the case with the Delta King.  The staterooms are not overly spacious, they are comfortable if not a bit cozy.  As most of what this blogger does in a hotel is sleep, that is not an issue.  It may be for some.  Accommodations do include a complimentary breakfast, including two eggs, grilled potatoes, bacon or ham, blueberry muffin, orange juice, and coffee or tea.  For just a bit more one can upgrade to something like Eggs Benedict.Delta King Hotel Breakfast
Delta King Hotel BreakfastOn March 1, 1978, the riverboat was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

For a change of pace, the Delta King Hotel delivers.

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Arundel Castle – West Sussex, England

The completely restored Arundel Castle, located in Arundel, West Sussex, England, was founded by Roger de Montgomery on 25 December 1067.

The castle’s founder was the first person to hold the Earl of Arundel title, as bestowed by William the Conqueror.

The elegant castle has served as a hereditary home and, for over four centuries, has been in the family of the Duke of Norfolk.

Though not all of the castle may be toured, and photography is not permitted in the interior, this historic building is well worth the time it may take to visit.

Over For Now.

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