At Anne Hathaway's Cottage. There we viewed both the "Courting Bench" and the "Courting Chair," mythic sites of the Bard's courtship of the elder Anne. We don't know much about their courtship, but we do know that they married in haste because of Anne's pregnancy. No evidence that they repented in leisure.
At Mary Arden's Farm (where Shakespeare spent some happy times with his mother's family) observing the hoof cleaning of Ellie, a "Gypsy Cob." Neither of these Elizabethan farm workers were very good with horses. It took them forever to get Ellie to lift her hoof.
Delys and some students talking falconry with the resident falconer at Mary Arden's farm. Later, during his presentation, Delys got to put on the gauntlet and call a barn owl to her hand. Unfortunately, we didn't get a good photo of it.
Paying my respects at Shakespeare's grave in Trinity Church. It's the high point of our pilgrimage to Shakespeare's birthplace. His wife, Anne, is buried next to him. Whatever separation they experienced during his career in London, they ended up together in the end.
However, perhaps the true high point of any pilgrimage to Stratford-upon-Avon is visiting the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres to see a Shakespeare play performed. This year, we saw Julius Caesar and Richard III. Here Delys is enjoying some lunch from the Baguette Barge (ham and brie) in the park fronting the theatres on the Avon before attending one such performance.
Here are my Birkenstock-shod feet "treading the boards" of the old stage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre before the theatre renovation, a stage where all the greatest actors in the UK once played, including Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier among many others.
On our way back to London we stopped at the Cotswolds for a taste of the most pristine and picturesque part of England, unspoiled by the Industrial Revolution and kept vibrant (and solvent) by tourism.
We also stopped at Oxford for a visit to one of Delys's favorite places, the Bodleian Library, before finally driving those last 30 miles to London.