Saturday, August 09, 2008
Stratford upon Avon
The Tour's next stop on our drive to Wales was Stratford upon Avon, famous worldwide for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Right outside of town is Anne Hathaway's cottage, where Shakespeare's wife was born, raised, and courted. The cottage was in the hands of her family up until fairly recently, and has been a tourist stop for a very, very long time.
The cottage itself is a very interesting look at how people lived back in the 1500's, perfectly preserved and recently re-thatched. Another draw is the beautiful gardens around the grounds. It was a great chance for us to get a glimpse of the English countryside.
There was also a "woods walk" that I took the opportunity to stroll through. Very different than the kind of woods we see in the Rocky Mountains.
Even the more modern structure of the (ubiquitous) gift shop was blended in with the historical setting.
After a quick visit to William's birthplace in downtown (so to speak) Stratford, we had some time to grab lunch and meander the town. I had the chance to say hello to some Swans and their cute little "ugly ducklings" down by the river.
Stratford was interesting, but it was much more touristy and less beautiful than Oxford, so while I enjoyed our hours there, I was ready to leave when it was time to get on the bus for the last portion of our drive.