Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stratford

Last Thursday we went to see the Musical play La Miserable in London. You know how much I don't like musicals, but actually it was really good. We had a quick dinner at a Chinese buffet there. We were in China town and so everywhere you looked you would see a Chinese restaurant. The food was not great though except for the shrimp and beef.

On Friday, we headed to Stratford-upon-Avon the place where Shakespeare was born and raised. We stayed at the holiday Inn express hotel. It was an old hotel and not that great..but it was close to everything so it worked out.  The weather was bad in the morning and rainy,  but it got better as time went by. We parked the car and got tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus. We visited Shakespeare’s house and saw the room where he was born (born at home of course). The house looks pretty much the same as it did in his time. Strange how they reserve all these old places here. We also visited his wife’s childhood home and his mom’s home as well. These places have beautiful gardens especially his wife's house.  I will put some pictures of these places below.  We went to this Mexican restaurant for dinner and we thought it was not good since no one was there. But, it was really good!
 
In front of William Shakespeare's house:

The dinning room in the house (his father was a glove maker):


the room where Shakespeare was born:



On the way to Anne's house (William Shakespeare's wife):



In front of Anne's house, really pretty gardens:



I had to take a picture of these flowers. Same as we have at home but 10 times bigger. حنون

 
Stratford town (the river that comes across the town):

 
I learned many new things on our bus tour. For example we learned that people in the 15th century did not bathe at all. King Henry the 8th had two baths in his life, one when he was born and one when he died. And a little while later in history people started bathing once a year (may-June) that is why all the weddings were in June since people were the cleanest. And when they did bathe they would start with the most important person in the household and go down to the servants and others. So, sometimes 30 people would use the same water, and the last person to bathe was probably dirtier after washing than when he started.
Also, the reason why they had curtains over their beds was that their roofs were not quite closed so birds, rats and other things were on the roof. So, something may fall in your mouth as you sleep. They therefore covered the top of their bed.

Often we forget that the origins of the English language came from here in England. Our tour guide was telling us about the reason some terms are used. I had never thought of these things and they were interesting facts. For example:

1. ‘Sleep tight’ came from the fact that the beds were supported by ropes which often went loose and so it made it uncomfortable to sleep. So, they had to be tightened.

2. Their tables back then were made of a board over a wooden stand. The board was loose, and when guests came they would put the board on the floor and have people sleep on the board as it was warmer than the cold floor. Everyone sat on benches around the table for meals except the father who was the head of the household and he sat on an arm chair. From this came the term ‘chairman of the board’.
 
We had tickets to see Hamlet, one Shakespeare's plays. We thought we should see at least one play while there. After seeing the first half of the play we decided we are not one of those people that are made to enjoy such things...Mostly because we could not understand half of what everyone was saying.
 
On Saturday we went to Warwick castle which was very close to the hotel. We waited for the introduction that the gatemen do at the start of the day. the guy was really funny. After that we took the 530 step walk around the towers of the castle. I thought my legs would fall off, but it was worth it. The view from the top was great. It is a one-way thing so you can’t give up in the middle and go back. You must press on. After that we toured the castle which was really nice.  They have a lot of fun shows at the castle. The Eagle show was amazing. They have trained eagles and they make them fly over our heads, it was so cool.

I kept trying to get a shot of the eagles as they flew over our heads but they were too fast for me. Most of my pictures were of this bold guy in front of me...Anyway, below are my best shots.  The first one is the bold eagle (for all of you Americans), and the second picture is of the bold guy and the eagle.

 
 
View of the outside of Warwick Castle:
 
View from top after climbing some of the stairs. Sister Hess is sitting down there somewhere. She said that she climbed those once and was not going to do it again:

 
Nice view of the river from the top of the castle:



Inside the Castle:
 
 
The Peacock just wandering around between the crowd:


 
 

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog Sahar! Great information about people not bathing at all in olden days. So glad I live in the 21st century. Jabra

    ReplyDelete