September 26, 2001
Today we are going to Blenheim Palace, home to the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, including Winston Churchill. The palace is massive! We check out the extensive water garden first. It is a huge square with statues in all four corners and a gigantic fountain in the center. There are four other fountains and four still pools with hedges planted and trimmed in a design like a maze.
We enter the main palace and go through the Winston Churchill exhibit. As I am so interested in history, I find it fascinating. There are many early letters from WC to his family through his early school days up to and including his military training. Some of his speeches are being played in the background. We were able to go into the room where he was born in 1874 and also see some of the paintings that he did in his later years.
Afterwards there is a tour through the palace with a docent telling about the family history, the furnishings, paintings and tapestries. Very opulant, ornate furniture and beautiful paintings of the family. The ceilings are amazing, the chandeliers and fire places et all speak money and power. I was standing next to one of these bookcases listening to the docent speak about all of the lovely books and glanced at the books I was next too. It was the first time I had ever actually seen bookworms. I think they had a pretty severe problem with them. Since then I’ve read that to get rid of them without chemicals, just zap the book in a microwave for a few seconds! (Moving on)
The three of us stop in the tearoom and have a quick lunch together. After this Marcie and I want to check out the Pleasure Garden and Butterfly House and Jean wants to go to the car and catch up on her reading. She has a great book about royal scandals!!
We take the small train to the garden which is a small and beautiful herb garden. Another thing I learned in England is that they do not drop the H like Americans do, which I always thought sounded silly and affected. Of course I always try to remember to use the H, but forget because that was how I was raised. The Butterfly House is especially fun, so many gorgeous butterflies and tropical plants.
It’s starting to rain, but we both really want to walk through the maze. It has a sign at the beginning that says on average it will take about 25 minutes to find your way through the maze. We managed to finish it in 17 minutes and were pretty proud of ourselves.
After such a great day exploring one of the many treasures of England we headed back to the pub and then our cozy beds for a good nights sleep.