Friday, April 18, 2008

Stratford-upon-Avon to Bath


The play was, well, it was wonderful, and we were really glad that we made the effort, but we are just exhausted today, partly because of it. We rose, and greeted the freezing wind in search of a warm breakfast. The first warm place with chairs that we came to was McDonald’s, so yes, we did. We went in and ate a hearty McDonald’s breakfast! If it is any consolation, the dishes that we had are not served in the States.
I am not even certain where we went, we saw so much. Remember the line in The Flight of the Navigator, when the computer tells the little boy that they filled his head with knowledge and star charts? He asks, “What happened?” The computer replies, “You leaked.” That’s what I feel like! I have been filled with so many names, and dates, and details and suppositions, and bits of background information, that I have sprung a leak. I have bits and pieces of information from each site filed somewhere in my subconscious, and I wonder if I will ever make sense of them again.
But after breakfast, we found our way to Shakespeare’s grave at Trinity Church, which is a beautiful, and amazing place, and they are very kind and friendly.
We also found Anne Hathaway’s home, which was William’s wife’s childhood home. It was in the process of being re-thatched, which was really an interesting sight to witness!
I didn’t mention that we also visited his birthplace and childhood home, did I?
The builders were geniuses and artisans. You just have to see it to believe it!

Sam’s friend Patrick, coined an expression while he was here visiting on travel week. “In Britain, even the sun is cold.” Let me tell you…the guy is right! I’ll have to check a metric conversion, but it was 10 degrees Celsius, which we think is around 50, with an icy wind when we arrived in Bath. We’re thinking with an adjustment for wind chill, our skin thinks it’s right around freezing, mine thinks it’s lower! My lips are numb, my cheeks and chin are numb. We hide behind buildings until we muster the courage to move about in the open again! It is cold! Bath is beautiful. We arrived after everything had closed, so we had a kind of a dinner at the bar in our hotel, and spent the rest of the evening entertaining ourselves. Mark and Sam sat in tall wingback chairs in the Victorian lounge, and enjoyed the coffee service, while they read their books. I took a HOT shower, and stayed in the room to write postcards. The ceilings in our rooms were at least 12 feet tall. So the windows were nearly 10 feet tall, facing the street. Parade Street. If you read any Jane Austen, you’ll understand the significance. A famous architect for this area, John Woods, the elder, built our hotel, and if I am correct since it’s mentioned everywhere, that is quite a feather in their cap.

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