Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Day In the Country

During our stay in England, we took two trips outside of London. For each trip, we woke up bright and early (well, not necessarily bright since the sun hadn't risen yet, but it was definitely early) and loaded onto a bus for a two-hour drive into the English countryside.

We first travelled to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the town in which William Shakespeare grew up, lived, and is buried.  We visited several landmarks made famous by the presence of Shakespeare. The first was Ann Hathaway's house. No, it's not the Ann Hathaway you're thinking of. This Ann Hathaway was William Shakespeare's wife.
Ann Hathaway's house. It was a lovely property but the reason for my cheesing is something funny happening off camera.
We then visited the house William Shakespeare grew up in and the one that his daughter owned in later years. The tour guides were very informative and it was interesting to learn where various commonplace sayings (such as "giving someone the cold shoulder") come from and how society worked in those days.
I wasn't cut out for the old days. Struggles of a tall girl.
After lunch at great pub, called The Dirty Duck, we visited the church where Shakespeare is buried. It was a lovely church with beautiful stained glass windows depicting various saints.
One of the many windows depicting saints and the story they are most famous for.
We then had a bit of free time, which we spent strolling down the quaint streets and shopping, before we boarded back on the bus bound for London.

Our second day trip was to the small city of Bath, famous for being the location of the ancient Roman baths. Bath is a wonderful town, a lot larger than I had imagined. We lucked out with a beautiful, rare, sunny day. Our day consisted of taking a tour of the Roman baths (which I find perplexing in England), a stop at the Jane Austen Centre, visiting the Circus (not the kind you're thinking) and the Royal Crescent (which were both beautiful!), and walking around and shopping before heading back to London!

Reflection of the building in the actual Roman bath.
Next to the Roman bath, with steam rising from the (apparently disgusting) water.
I mean, an artsy foot picture is a must for this kind of place, right?

The Jane Austen Centre was a bit of a letdown but I can't fully dislike anything Jane Austen..

The Circus. A grouping of buildings in a perfect circle.

The Royal Crescent (behind me on the left). A large building in the shape of a, you guessed it, crescent.

 And that is it for my days in the English countryside! I don't really have any pictures of the sprawling fields and hills you may think of when English countryside is brought to mind but that is solely because it was either too early or late and, thus, too dark for me to get a picture. They were gorgeous, I can tell you that much.

Until next time.

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