England – Day 2

England – Day 2

Tuesday, September 25th. It’s 5am. Wide awake. Still smiling after the Best Day Ever!

We got up kind of late, 8:30 or so, and were outside, vowing this to be a day of NO DRIVING by about 9:45. We stopped at a cash machine, first thing. $200 = Two Hundred and sixty pounds. About 75 cents on the dollar.

As we strolled through the town we kept seeing school kids on field trips. They are all in uniform, and seriously kept thinking they looked like they were straight out of a Harry Potter film!

We went to the HR Cafe, a sunny little place with the very same lovely customer service we’d read about on Trip Advisor. Dave had the small English Breakfast and a mocha, I had a small quiche and some coffee. No tea yet – I’m still recovering from jet-lag!

Speaking of recovering, That cold sore came on strong, swelling my lip up overnight – it fully involved my whole body with achey joints and swollen glands everywhere! But I vowed it wasn’t going to ruin my vacation, so I took more Lysine, some aspirin, and kept my topical lysine within reach at all times. By the time we were done with breakfast, it has stopped swelling and had even gone down some!

We didn’t get right on the bus like I’d planned – in fact, we never even got on the bus at all! We walked to all of the destinations (11,000 steps in all by the time night had fallen!)

Our first stop was at the Shakespeare Birthplace, which is a lovely full story of his life. The Birthplace Trust features artists interpretations of Shakespeare in their amazing multimedia displays. I got to look upon one of the three First Folios they have in their possession.

We moved on to the New Place and had the most interesting docent. We had a lovely conversation with him after the presentation, which turned out to be the case with most of our docents! It must be our unusual accents :D

My phone started to die at this point, and I realized that even though I’d brought my charger, I’d grabbed the wrong cord, so from then on, we had to rely on Dave’s phone. 

From New Place, we walked to the Guild Hall Chapel next door, then to Shakespeare’s School Room, which was to that point, my favorite. We first saw a short film, then a docent talked to us about uncovering some of the artwork that was on the walls there. Beautiful John The Baptist was uncovered only 2 years ago! We then went upstairs and a School master in costume and authentic character told us all about schooling in Shakespeare’s time. Dave and I both agreed that we learned quite a lot from that experience, and we wished that education was more like that in the states. Another Docent, Tony showed us the Master’s Chamber. He also works for the Birthplace Trust Archive that we’ll be visiting tomorrow.

From there, we hopped  over to Croft Hall, hoping for our first cream tea as it was 4pm. Turned out they close at 4:30 or Half-Four as the waitress said, so we settled for a Victoria Sandwich and tea, which was also very good.

We then walked to Holy Trinity Church to visit Shakespeare’s grave. I had no idea how much I wanted to see that, and was unprepared for the awe I felt as we entered the chapel. There were very few people there, and I actually got to stand there at his grave with no other tourists in the room. It was an amazingly moving experience.

We went to Garrick’s Pub, the oldest in Stratford and had a Shakesbeer. Then we walked toward the river past the Shakespeare monument/statue there, looked at some of the long low boats, then went back to the apartment to get the right cord, and then on to Pen and Parchment for a glass of wine.

We went to dinner at Lambs on Sheep Street and had a wonderful dinner. I had Calves Liver with crispy shallots and dave had Mussels – the best he’d ever had!

We stopped at Loxley’s for a cocktail, and then home.


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