Stratford-Upon-Avon: Shakespearean nergasms

28 Mar

This past Saturday I took a bus tour with one of my roommates to Straford-Upon-Avon, the Cotswold’s, and Oxford. I’ve wanted to go to Stratford since I first learned about William Shakespeare. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon (the River Avon runs through the town, thus it gets the name) in 1564. The house he was born in and grew up in stands to this day thanks to his popularity before and after his death. The house has hosted a number of famous visitors including future U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, authors Mark Twain and Charles Dickens and poet John Keats. Needless to say, I was in good company in Stratford.

The first stop on our tour of Stratford was about a mile outside the town to see where Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, was born and grew up. Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne when he was just 18. Oh and she was pregnant with their child at the time of their wedding. Fun fact.

The Hathaway family and then its descendants lived in this cottage until the early 1900s when the Shakespeare's Birth Trust foundation acquired it. The Hathaway's would charge visitors to see the house and would tell lies about furniture, saying, "Shakespeare sat here!" just to make a few extra bucks.

The house itself is neat because it is a medieval/Tudor style home with a thatched roof. Throughout the years the Hathaway descendants kept the house in its original design with little to no updates to the inside. Though there weren’t any artifacts that Shakespeare himself would have seen/used, it was still interesting to see a little bit of what it would have been like to live in the cottage.

Next we headed to the heart of Stratford to see where the Bard was born. I could feel my heartbeat quicken as we walked toward the house, passing all sorts of sights and signs of Shakespeare.

A Statue of the Fool; "A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool"

O, had I but followed the arts! -- Twelfth Night

How well he's read, to reason against reading. -- Love's Labour's Lost

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. -- Julius Caesar

Soon enough I was walking the ground that my literary hero once walked on. Breathing the air. Taking it all in and savoring each moment.

Shakespeare's actual birthplace, still standing after almost 450 years.

The front entrance to Shakespeare's house, complete with the Shakespeare family crest above the door.

I feel like I can share this with you all: whenever there is a “do not touch” sign, I am about 80% likely to touch whatever object it is I am not supposed to be touching, 99% likely if there are no “guards” there to yell at me. So of course when we walked through Shakespeare’s bedroom, past the four-poster bed he slept in, I had to feel the intricately carved wood. Not only was it beautiful, but the wood was soft yet sturdy. As it must be seeing as it is 400+ years old.

On the way out I signed the guest book. They’ve been keeping a guest book for over 200 years and the very first visitors were American! Just goes to show that Shakespeare has been loved around the world since he first became famous. I had to write my favorite quote in the comments box: “This above all, to thine own self be true” from Hamlet.

After some fun in the gift shop, we had a few minutes to walk around town before getting back on the bus. We went into the bookshop and then passed a few awesome shops.

If music be the food of love, play on. -- Twelfth Night

The Creaky Couldron, an homage to both the witches of Macbeth and Harry Potter

Butter Beer and Pumkin juice: the two beverages consumed most frequently in the Harry Potter books

And soon enough we had to get back on our tour bus and bid adieu to Stratford (for now).

Our tour took us on a drive through the Cotswold’s, stopping for lunch at a pub before continuing our journey to Oxford (more on that later).

The Cotswold’s is a quaint, countryside area of England. Absolutely beautiful with lots of these little guys:

Baa Ram Ewe



One Response to “Stratford-Upon-Avon: Shakespearean nergasms”

  1. Jessica March 29, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    Omg I love that they have embraced Harry potter… <3

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