Friday, July 15, 2016

Europe Adventure: Day Nine, Part Six- Shakespeare's Birthplace

 We really wanted to try to get to Stratford-Upon-Avon this day so that we could have a day off on Friday so as soon as we got back to our car I called the desk at Shakespeare's birthplace. I asked them if they were open only until five or if you were already there at 5 if you could still get in and tour. They told me that as long as we were there by five we would be let in. 
So we rushed.
We drove to Stratford and found a car park. 
The town center was really pretty around the river. We put the address into my phone but it was confused and took us a way that I thought was wrong...
We finally were going up this road and were so lost. We asked a passing biker if he knew where it was and he gave us some directions. We followed those. 
Then we got to a corner and couldn't see it so we asked a girl that walked by and she told us where to go. 
We ran to the front door and got in to the visitor's center and to the desk right at five.
We bought our tickets and walked over to the main house. 
At first I wished that we had decided to do this another day so we could have explored Oxford some more...but actually it was pretty cool to have the entire place to ourselves. 
We were the only tourists here. 

We met a costumed guide as we entered the house and she led us through telling us stories of Shakespeare's family. 
Shakespeare was born here in 1564 and lived here throughout his childhood. 
 The home has been restored to look the way it would have looked when his family lived here.

Our guide told us that those posts sticking up on the side of the top bed were to keep the adults from falling out onto the children sleeping below and also used for protection in case someone climbed through the window in the middle of the night. 

She also told us that the ropes on the bottom of the beds were tightened and that was where the term "Sleep tight" came from.

It was really interesting touring the home. 
When we were done we went out into the courtyard on our way to the gift shop and exit. 
This actor was out there and asked us if we would like to have him do a scene for us. 
He asked us what our favorite plays were and then he did two scenes. 

I taped one of them. 

We visited the gift shop and then exited through the front. 
Shakespeare's birthplace...

We walked back down through town. 

We stopped to get a picture of the Shakespeare statue by the water. 

Then we drove 'home'.
The drive was not very long- about twenty minutes but the roads were stressing me out. 
Again, they were small ones that had a fast speed and you couldn't really see far. But what made it worse was that there were signs saying how dangerous the road was and how many deaths had been on it so far this year. That kind of freaked me out!
But we made it safe and sound.
When we got back to our cottage we took a walk down the street to the One Stop and got some easy food to make for dinner. 

Walking down the alley to our cottage.

My mom made some pizzas and we finished watching the movie from the night before. 
It was a nice evening. 
The funniest thing was when we were watching the movie, the character that Richard Gere plays was shown driving his car from above. We both panicked and said he was driving on the wrong side!
So I guess by this time we were used to the left side driving. 

I got a few souvenirs this day!
In Oxford I got some postcards of the Duke Humfrey's library and Radcliffe Camera, an Oxford keychain to use as a Christmas ornament, a little library sign that says 'Silence Please', some bookmarks that show different sections from Duke Humfrey's library, a copy of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and two little Union Jack notebooks for Abi and Maddy. 

At Shakespeare's birthplace I got a leather bookmark and a copy of Much Ado About Nothing


Seth and Julie said...

I love Shakespeare and I loved going to his birthplace and to the Globe theater. I am laughing that they told you about "sleep tight" because we always told that to people who visited the Joseph Smith home, and "raining cats and dogs" as well as a few other silly phrases. I guess all old house tours have the same script.

cheryl said...

Yes. I think you are right! I think yours must have been such a cool mission.

The Kings said...

In the Shakespeare home I remember the guide telling us that they had all of their their nice furnishings by the big front window so people walking by would see their nice things and say a rich family lived there! I am so glad we got there in time to visit the home. As I watched the clip of the actor (it was so much fun!) it was so cool as when I was down at Shakespeare Festival on Monday night we saw the play "Much Ado About Nothing"! As I was watching the play I was thinking that we saw a part of that at his home. Very cool! And sure enough the actor in your clip shared a part when Benedict talks about his love and how his views on marriage changed.

cheryl said...

That's right! She did tell us that. It was the best bed in that room so that people would see it.
Yep. I love Much Ado about Nothing!
It was such a cool place to visit!