From Windemere to Stratford on Avon

Trip Start Jul 20, 2014
Trip End Aug 05, 2014

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, July 28, 2014

We were up at 6:45, bags out at 7:30, on the bus at 8:15.  The roads were still a little wet when we left Ambleside on Lake Windemere.  We headed south to the M6 and drove more than two hours until we stopped for a break at "Services" along the motorway.  As we drove we passed exits for Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Dudley, Kidderminster and Stourbridge I thought of relatives who lived there or places we have visited with family or stories from my mom and dad about the time when they were dating during WWII.  At some point we got on the M5, then M42, then M40 which took us into Stratford-upon-Avon.  Avon means river and is the river that goes through Stratford.  Our bus let us off just at the top of Henley Street which is a pedestrian area and we had enough time to get some lunch.  Larry and I and several other couple ate at "The Food of Love" which was just a few doors down at the beginning of the street.  Larry and I had Cream Tea again, again very good but no sliced strawberries this time.  We ate with Marilyn and Dan who had quiche

After lunch we went back to the coach park and got on the bus for our afternoon tour.  Ann Bartlett was our tour guide.  We drove by the statue of William Shakespeare, by the Bancroft Gardens,by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and over the bridge where we could see Canal Boats.  We stopped at Trinity Church where Shakespeare worshiped and saw the Baptismal Font where he was baptized and his and his wife's graves.  We drove to Anne Hathaway's (his wife) Cottage but did not have time to tour it, just take pictures from the outside.  We drove past Edward VI Grammar School where he went to school and by the park called New Place where his home was after he married.  Our last stop was at the Shakespeare Center where we entered the birthplace of Shakespeare and learned about his parents and grandparents.  We toured the house on Henley Street and then the gardens out back.  In the garden there were a couple of actors reciting parts of Shakespeare's plays.  We heard a section from Romeo and Juliet,  Hark, what light from yonder window breaks?.....  In the Gift Shop Jennifer, a young lady on the tour with us, found a book she thought Larry would like.  It is entitled, "Doctor Who, The Shakespeare Notebooks."  Larry bought it.  On the front Shakespeare is wearing a multicolored scarf like the Fourth Doctor Who, Tom Baker. 

When we finished at the Birthplace it was time to get on the bus and head for Broadway and the Lygon Arms.  It took us about 45 minutes to get there as we had to take an alternate route because of a low overpass the bus couldn't get under.  So we went through the Cotwold Towns of Moreton-on-Water and Bourton-on-the-Hill and saw signs for Chipping Camden, Banbury and Oxford.  I knew I was in the Cotswolds when we started seeing buildings made of the signature yellow limestone blocks of the area.  We found the Lygon Arms on the High Street in Broadway and unloaded and stepped back in time as we entered the old hotel with slate floors, paneled walls and beamed ceilings.  As soon as we got our keys and deposited our carryons in the room we went for a walk up and down the high street where most of the shops were closed for the day.  After our walk we went to our room and dressed for supper then went to the courtyard for drinks.  We had our tour picture taken at a park behind the hotel.  Then we went into the hotel for supper:  Caesar salad, pork medallions, carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, and for dessert ice cream, on sliced apples on a pastry.  Mark made some remarks, so did Amy and Karen from WOSU.  We said goodbye to everyone as they take off for the airport tomorrow and we will be picked up by Peter.  After supper we spent some time with Jane and Debbie giving them some pointers on Paris.  We went back to the room and Larry skyped Erin while I wrote the blog.
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