Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shakespeare's Country

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none:" 
 William Shakespeare

After a full morning visiting Blenheim Palace our next stop was Stratford-upon-Avon...Shakespeare's birthplace.  We were fortunate that our hotel was within walking distance of the center of Stratford so that we could return on our own time.  Our bus dropped us off near the childhood home of Shakespeare.  Ray was not feeling well.  I suggested he take the bus back to the hotel and rest, but he was determined to carry on.

The first thing I heard after leaving the bus was a man shouting quotes from Shakespeare.  He was speaking from an upstairs window of Shakespeare's home. 

We entered the house and began our tour watching a woman making gloves.  William Shakespeare's father had been a glove maker and part of the house was used for his shop.  We wove through a few rooms...one had a window with signatures that visitors had signed. If you look closely you might recognize some names.  After the windows were crowded with many so signatures someone decided to provide a book for people to sign.

I took a picture of this window pane.  Henry Irving's signature is in upper left corner, written at a slant.
This is a picture of the pane of glass with Henry Irving's signature.

 We walked past the kitchen, and then upstairs to see the bedrooms.  It was here that we learned where "getting up on the wrong side of the bed" might have come from.  The parents' bed was a trundle where a young child would sleep.  So...you must be careful not to get out of bed on the side of the trundle or you might step on your child.
Pictures of Shakespeare's Birthplace.  Upper left, looking out a window, next is a bedroom, next is woman making gloves,
upper right is actor shouting lines from Shakespeare, lower left is the house and lower left is another view of bedroom.
I wanted to get pictures of the wallpaper.

After we toured Shakespeare's birthplace we bought some cold medicine for Ray and he walked back to the hotel.  I wandered around the village, stopping at the many market booths.  I bought a pair of earrings and magnet.  I usually don't buy many souvenirs...I figure my photographs are my souvenirs...and always bring memories when viewed.  Ray always downloads (or is it uploads?) the photos to a digital picture frame so we have a continual slide show.  I think I did buy some fudge...just to get a taste of the area. :-)
On the left is an actor reciting lines from Shakespeare.  On the right is the patio area outside Shakespeare's childhood home.
On the left is the market area filled with street vendors.  On the right is the river.
Street  Performer

 Ray sent a text telling me that he made it back to the hotel but had gone down the wrong road.  He hoped I did not make the same mistake.  It was such a pretty day, I strolled by the river.  The ducks and geese were hoping for some treats...but I was stingy with my fudge and told them I was sorry.  Of course, they just pestered some of the other tourists who had better treats to share.  It was getting close to dinner time, so I headed back, taking Ray's advice and making no wrong turns.  He had been able to take a short nap and hoped dinner would help him feel better.  We had a long drive in the morning....heading to the English Lake District.

Anne Hathaway's House (Shakespeare's wife)

"Good night, good night!
 Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night
Till it be morrow."
William Shakespeare
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williamsha155061.html#xdM6REkDcowhy4Qt.99


  1. My husband and I have also adopted the policy of not buying souvenirs. Pictures will bring back the places, I don't need another mug to remind me. Sometimes I do like to pick up a little piece of jewelry. What a great trip you had. England, Ireland, and Scotland are still to be explored by us.

  2. Love the pictures. You are right, these say so much more than souvenirs we sometimes bring home, put away and forget about. I have to admit that I am a fan of Shakespeare. Be read some of his plays in high school and I was a fan ever since..some of my friends just couldn't see what I like about them. Never went abroad, but I did have a chance to take a class trip to Stratford CT where we saw a play performed in a replica of the Globe. It was great.

  3. Thank you for this visit to one of my favorite places - you took me right back.

  4. Same here. I remember an amazing production of Much Ado there starring Dame Judy!!!! I'm grinning right now. Thanks for sharing your details with us.