Europe Day 2: Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick
Thursday, June 4, 2015
My jet lag woke me very early this morning, about 3:30 am local time. Kenna did considerably better, and Celeste won the sleeping prize. We had a delicious traditional English breakfast in the hotel restaurant; it was wonderful but I mustn’t get used to eating breakfasts this big!
After breakfast we headed for Shakespeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon. While not especially crowded, the town was very touristy and prepared for many more people than today, a Thursday in early June. We didn’t feel we wanted to invest in the pricey ticket that allows one to visit many of the Shakespeare-related buildings, so we walked around and got a feel for the town. After a while, we decided to catch a “hop on, hop off” tour that takes about an hour to complete (without hops off, of course). The tour was excellent; we got a birds-eye view from the top of a double-decker bus and the recorded tour taught us a great deal.
We had noticed the rooftop restaurant at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, but found the meals there to be more than we wanted. So instead we stopped at a pub downtown and had an enjoyable lunch.
After lunch we returned to Warwick, parked the car at the hotel, and set out for Warwick Castle. Kenna and I had been to the Castle in 1998, but Kenna remembered more of it than did I. We still enjoyed Warwick Castle, but it seemed to be quite touristy: almost more of a theme park than a historic site. While not the Downton Abbey estate, many of the rooms reminded us of the lifestyle of the people from the series. We took one 40-minute tour of some of the rooms, and self-guided the rest.
After returning to the hotel for a little downtime, we walked back to the centre of Warwick for dinner, again at a pub. It was a warm evening, so we ate outside, which was pleasant except for the cigarette and e-cigarette users who contributed to the atmosphere, so to speak.
This article is part of a series about our recent vacation in Europe. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.