Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Saxon Crypt, A Norman Church, Shakespeare's Stratford-upon- Avon, Ann Hathaway's Cottage and Garden

As promised by the pink sky last night, we awakened to a 'sailor's delight' kind of day this morning, warm and sunny with a delightful temperature so off we went right after breakfast to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Shakespeare sites. En route Barry stopped first in the lovely village of Berkswell to show us a Saxon crypt in the Norman parish church of St. John Baptist with its gabled and timbered porch added in the 16th century. Then it was on to Stratford. Once the car was parked we strolled across the riverside park to the Royal Shakespeare Theater and its cafe where we began our tour with morning tea and snacks. A pretty spot indeed especially on such a perfect day! One of my memories from our visit to Stratford years ago were the crowds of tourists who come to pay homage to Shakespeare...and that was true again today. The river was full of canal boats and swan and ducks with a glimpse of Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried...all visible from the RSC cafe. We strolled into town and saw his birthplace and the grammar school he attended. Our next stop was the famous architect John Nash's house and garden only to discover it was closed while an archaeological dig was going on. We then wandered back to the car to make the short drive to Ann Hathaway's near-by thatched roof cottage and pretty garden in the village of Shottery. We wiled away some time roaming in the gardens and house and were struck by the colorful collection of sweet peas and the willow tree sculptures and huts as well as a lavender maze that was just coming into bloom. The drive back to Walmley was hot and trafficky. What a welcome sight Barry's garden was when we arrived back home at Welcombe Drive! Valerie had the kettle on and sweeties out before the rest of us were in the front door. How very relaxing...and what a restful place to sip tea and chat about our day's outing while admiring a garden full of beautiful flowers! While Barry watered his many pots filled with a variety of blooms, Valerie prepared another tasty dinner and Bill read the paper, I took time not only to smell the flowers, but also to photograph them. Another great day out!

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