Wednesday June 14
Yesterday was our day trip to the birthplace of the bard himself, Stratford-Upon-Avon. The bus ride was just shy of three hours, but I can nap anywhere so it was extra sleeping time for me! When we arrived it was about lunch time so a few of us wandered the small city centre until we found a cute pub with a nice beer garden to eat in. Being the fool I am, I took off my cardigan because the weather was so nice and now I’m sporting a serious sunburn on my chest, shoulders and back. Good going Sarah!
While we were there we paid the (hefty) entrance fee to see the house where Shakespeare grew up, as well as the location of the house he lived in after he made his fortune in London. In his birth home there were two actors who would recite any sonnet or scene from any Shakespeare play upon request, which was highly impressive and entertaining. The house itself still had the original floors which was the coolest part of the house. The new place, or the house he moved later, was razed years ago, so there was a beautiful art exhibit installed there along with some truly magnificent gardens.
After visiting the houses and walking around some more, we went for a walk along the Avon, and saw a horde of swans. They were everywhere! Much like pigeons they were begging humans for food and getting alarmingly close. We had a small snack, and then resumed our walking.
Now I will confess, I don’t really care all that much for Shakespeare. I appreciate his influence on modern writing and plays, but in the general sense I am pretty hard pressed to care too much about him. Stratford is like Shakespeare Disney. If you are into Shakespeare, it’s awesome. If you aren’t, it’s just another small town with lots of swans.
There is a Carnegie library in Stratford, unfortunately it was closed for repair work during our visit. We peeked in the window and it was totally gutted so it looks like a renovation is taking place (check out that sunburn!)