Seeing Into Shakespeare’s Time
This past Friday, 30 January, I took a trip with my AIFS London group to the home of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon. I will admit, I’m not the biggest Shakespeare person, but since I am taking a Shakespeare class this semester and this trip was offered, I figured why not go? I was not disappointed with this trip. (And I am becoming more fond of Shakespeare now.)
After the 2 hour journey on the coach (bus), our first stop was Anne Hathaway’s cottage and gardens! Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18, which was unheard of back in that time, but they had to marry because she was pregnant. The Hathaway family kept this cottage well preserved for us to have a glimpse of what life was like back in the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s.
The next stop on our trip was the birthplace of Shakespeare. I’m not sure how much tickets to tour it were because it was included in our trip, but guidebooks were £6! Outrageous. Apparently, I stood in the room that he was born in! That’s kind of crazy. It was a large house! This was where he spent his childhood years.
After touring the birthplace, we had a 2 and a half hour break to eat lunch and explore. We found an Italian restaurant to eat at and I had a humongous, delicious veggie calzone. I was with my roommates Sibo, Bahar and our friend Faithe. After lunch, we explored the village and came across the perfect little candy shop. I was in love. Ever since I’ve arrived in London, all I want to do is eat sweets.
The town of Stratford-upon-Avon is incredible. There are so many old buildings from Shakespeare’s time. I felt like I was time traveling. After exploring, we met back up with the group to do a walking tour with our tour guide. We visited the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, Holy Trinity Church and Shakespeare’s grave. We also saw Harvard House, but didn’t go inside.
If you ever get the chance, Stratford-upon-Avon is definitely a place that I would recommend — even if you aren’t too fond of Shakespeare! The history itself is just incredible and the town is gorgeous. Maybe you will even come to like Shakespeare like I am.
(P.S. Don’t forget that you can view all of my photos from my trip on my Flickr account!)