Sunday, December 06, 2009
Shakespeare County - Stratford
Shakespeare's county is situated in Stratford, which is built on Avon river and hence called Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare's house has been preserved till date and is open to visitors. Shakespeare Center hosts a gallery which gives a detailed account of Shkespaere's life and works. The gallery opens to a garden which leads you to Shakespeare's house.
The house has 3 bed rooms, living room, work shop and an extension to the house. The guide explains the origins of phrases like 'Good night sleep tight' and 'I had a ropey night'. In the 16th century, the cot had wooden famework and had a base of ropes, which would be tightened every night by the servent. And so comes the phrase "Good night, sleep 'tight'". If not tied properly, it would stick to one's back and make one uncomfortable. And hence the phrase, 'I had a ropey night'.
The exit leads to the Gift shop. The shop has a range of souveniers to choose from.
It is really amazing to know that almost every phrase you use in English was written by this one man. A man, whose writings inspire millions every day and are showcased by plays, drama, movie, songs and what not.
Stratford-upon-Avon has canal built on river Avon and makes for a beautiful sight. Small boats travel through these canals all the way upto Paris on one side and to London on the other. Water levels at each stage of the canal are different. A boatsman will open up the lock at one level, which causes the water in the next stage to rush in and raise the water level of your location. This helps you move on further. Once you reach the end of that level, you would open the lock of the next level. This story continues until you reach the destination. Amazing! The streets are dotted with ultra posh shops like Austin Reed, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Goldsmith so on and so forth. All the buildings are from the 17th Century and have been preserved in their original form.
The way to Stratford has breathtaking scenaries which makes this trip worthwhile and very satisfying. One can spot many castles along the way which have been turned into Hotels and Spas.