This was a VERY hectic week! On Wednesday, we set out on our Three-Day Trip to Bath, but first we stopped off in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the alleged birthplace of William Shakespeare.
As you can see from these pictures, we were able to get into the church where Shakespeare, his wife Anne Hathaway, and other members of his family are buried. I know it sounds a little morbid, but it was really exciting to pay respects to the man who (by most accounts) revolutionized the archetype for every story that has ever been told since. We also got to see the alleged place of his birth, but we decided not to go inside because it was actually pretty expensive. If you want to see a short video of us looking for Shakespeare’s house, visit my facebook.
In Bath, we had a chance to go out to dinner at a restaurant owned by Jamie Oliver. I was REALLY excited when I found that out. Jamie is committed to only the freshest ingredients and healthy food, on top of it, the food was PHENOMENAL!
We also got a chance to go out and experience the nightlife….It went pretty well, but as a woman, I really could not help but be disgusted at the ways in which the local men reacted to a great deal of us, simply because we were American women…I probably said some things I should not have…I should probably be more understanding and tolerant of the ignorance of a great deal of people…I’m not, but I probably should be.
Bath is also home to the Jane Austen Centre. This was a FABULOUS museum with a great deal of information and well-informed tour guides who gave me a lot of perspective on novels I have read many times, but someone seeing the ACTUAL places that Austen was referring to in her book and walking the same path that she did makes the story somewhat different.
Okay, I am REALLY not into souvenirs…of any kind. I am even more not a fan of souvenirs this early into a trip. My family already knows not to expect anything other than postcards from me lol. However, I found the MOTHER of all souvenirs. I found a VERY rare , 1st edition copy of one of Jane Austen’s novels. I am COMPLETELY thrilled! It was a little expensive, but it is something exceedingly rare that I might never have come across ever again. I am TOTALLY okay with this as my one and only souvenir from the entire trip.
Finally, today we got to Oxford. We got a really complete tour of the University and learned a lot of history about the school. There is a TON of English history wrapped up in the history of the college and it was very interesting. The library alone holds over 11 million books, and thousands more arrive every day! That’s even more than the library of Congress! Among these books, they also have journals from Shakespeare himself and the bible of Anne Boleyn, the former Queen of England who was beheaded by her husband, Henry VIII. This is the bible with which she convinced the King to break ties with the Catholic Church, thereby establishing The Church of England which would forever change the course of history. Talk about an important book!
To recap, we have already completed 6 of the 12 cities we have set out to visit. That means we’ve completed half of our goal and we are not even half of the way done yet ;-) Also, I have tried 9 of the 32 dishes I have set out to eat. I am pretty pleased with that!