Jolly good. The trick to getting into the middle of mazes is to put your hand on the left wall and just follow your hand. Seriously, that's how we made it.
Out of the maze and onto the grounds. Very lovely. I can imagine Anne strolling through these gardens with small defined steps plotting how she was going to ensnare Henry VIII in her womanly clutches. The gardens led to a huge lake where you could hire boats. It was all very grand. Take a look.
The funniest thing about this place are the ducks. They were masses of them! And no matter where you go in the place - a duck will surely follow. They came right up to us and quacked for food. We tried tricking them with leaves but they weren't having any of it! Miranda foolishly put her bag on the ground and three ducks waddled up and tried to nibble away the strap of her bag.
Now comes the water maze. This maze is the coolest thing ever. There's a big rock in the middle with waterfalls coming out on all sides which is where you have to get to. To get to it there are stone paths all around it (in maze form). The stones have water in between so you have to watch where you step - they even had an attendant on hand in case you managed to slip off and knock your head - he was reading and didn't look up the entire time we were there. Given that the maze had loads of signs around it saying "be prepared to get wet" we thought - surely it can't be that bad. We even though that after seeing many soggy children. We didn't know what to expect until (thank goodness) there was a group of people in front of us who rushed onto the maze which was when we all realised that when you step on certain stones the weight of your body sets of jets of water to spray on you - tricky! After following the certain path of the other people we made it to the middle, learning that if you walk really slowly onto the stones you can trick them into not squirting you. We still got somewhat wet though. Nevertheless - VICTORY!
Yep there's a drawbridge. And a moat! With really really big fish in it. I mean these fish could eat a duck in one go - that's how big they were. Inside we went and - boo - no photography allowed inside. Well... we'll see. The castle was pretty neat inside except that the Astor family (rich peeps who own the Waldorf Astoria and so on) renovated the castle in 1905! Why do they do this? I got to go into Anne's bedroom - yep - it's a bedroom. Then we got to go into the room that Henry VIII would have stayed in when he stayed in Hever. Don't get me wrong I'm not liking Henry over Anne I think it was AMAZING that I got to be in the place where they were hundreds and hundreds of years ago - breathing the same particles that they would have breathed. It's pretty cool. There was another room where behind the panelling in the wall there was a catholic chapel so the occupants of the house (not entirely sure who this was at the time) could pray without fear of getting bumped off by Henry VIII. By this time Leonore and I were lost in a flood of small boys and girls who all clomped into the room shouting things like "CORRRR look at this SWORD!" "No, no look at that BED" before leaning over things and smelling them - ? Strange. This one woman who ran the place kept telling the children to use their inside voices. We went upstairs (despite looking small this place had a lot of rooms) and found that they had got wax models of Henry and all his wives. Miranda knows this clever rhyme about his wives which is "divorced, killed, died, divorced, killed, survived" - how true. Miranda really wanted a photo with Henry so we waited until the lady ran off to remind the children about their indoor voices once more and took the shot! Ha ha! Take that Hever.
Another room contained all these war things like suits of armour and old swords and stuff. There was one thing that caught my eye. This thing. And do you know what the plaque read? "Man trap" Ahh it's what every girl needs... Maybe that's how Anne got Henry... Watch out boys of Oz! I'm bringing this knowledge home...
Out we went and started our walk back to the train station and long journey back to Egham. It's funny because all throughout our trip home we kept getting further and further in our idea for a new children's show called "Kitties on Bins". Seriously. That morning we saw two cats sitting on two different rubbish bins and throughout the space of the day we came up with - names, new characters, obstacles, place, accents and plot development. Brilliant. So whenever there was a silence, really, we would just cry "Kitties on bins!" Patent pending! Not long til Miranda and I jet off to Paris! But there will be more blogs before we go... maybe a video even? Hmm? Anyone interested?