Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Stratford-upon-Avon, Let's party like it's 1660!

October 2010

The weekend after Paris, I did another tour with Magical tours, this time to Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon.
So it all started when we met the bus at Hyde Park corner. From there the bus took us to Warwick castle - which was the best part of two hours drive. So we had a good look around the castle - whats probably best here is if I caption the below photos and resume below.The outside of Warwick castle. The entrance is below the clock.Ethelfleda's Mound. This is inside the castle, looking towards the back wall, although the Keep, would be to the left in this picture.Inside the main bit of the castle. There was all sorts of armour and things. It actually gave you a good idea of 'Castle-life'Outside again, this is a catapult.After looking around the castle, and nipping down the outside of it to the river, where there was a water-powered mill.

From there we hopped back on the bus, and headed into Stratford-upon-Avon.Naturally, the first thing on my list to do was see the house where William Shakespeare was born (the above picture). By this stage it was about closing time for the other buildings, so I made a bit of plan with a map.I had read that Anne Hathaway's house (Shakespeare's wife) was about 2km away, so I walked there. An older couple asked me some question, which I helped them with, and then I asked them a question - which is the quickest way back into town? They offered me a ride back in their car, which was great. So the rest of the afternoon I made my way around, checking out the marked sites on the map. The above picture is the garden at New Place. The door below, is on the church where Shakespeare is buried. I believe he is buried inside the church, which was locked, so I didn't get to see it.From the church, I walked along the river (Avon, hence the name) back to the meeting place. The below picture is of High street. I thought it was a good example of what I imagine a traditional English town to look like. The following week, Bevan left and went home on the Tuesday. On the Wednesday, Merinda & I went to the AITO travel show. I had found out about it in an email I was getting from a travel company. We were expecting it to be companies aimed at the expat demographic, however we discovered that it was more aimed at customers looking for luxury travel - so we were a good 20 years younger, and 20 times less English than anyone else there, except for a young Maori guy on one of the stands, who had a big conversation with us, and seemed grateful to have people he could relate to there. The upside to this demographic meant that there was free wine, and many of the tables had nibbles, so after our initial perusal of the stands, we would take it in turns to get more wine, whilst nibbling, and pretending to be interested in the stands. Needless to say we were rather 'happy' when we left, so we decided to dilute it with all-you-can-eat pizza.

That weekend I did a TEFL course, because I planned to go and teach English in Spain, once my UK visa was up. It was fun, and interesting, although a lot of it was revision of what I already new. The good thing though, was I got lots of resources.

The weekend after that was the TNT travel show - which I enjoyed wholeheartedly - I really enjoy the talks they have (although there was one presenter guy who was really a bad choice, because he was a posh English guy who thought he was really funny, whereas the audience thought he was a dick). The most satisfying thing though, I think was finally committing to a trip to Egypt, something that I had planned to do for most of the year, but never quite had enough money or job security.

The rest of October, and November consisted of a lot of parties - in town, friend's birthdays, my birthday (all-you-can-eat pizza at NZ chain Hell Pizza - L&P, Mac's Gold, Steinlager Pure -Yeah).
Rather than do the cliche Halloween party, Merinda and I went to a wine and cheese evening. In terms of cheese it was excellent, wine-wise, I was expecting to feel it a lot more to be honest.
Early in November, I went and watched the NZ vs England game at my local pub, got talking to some other Kiwis there, and later on played pool and went back to their's, and onto their mate's leaving party. It was there I met Adessa - who is now my girlfriend (those who know me well enough know the story, so I'm not going to repeat it again.
At the end of November, my job at the Crown Prosecution Service finally came to an end - which was quite good going, considering it was supposed to be a 3 month role, and it ended up being 8 months. It was a bit sad leaving, being the longest job I had had in London, and because of that, I had made some good friends. That job had finally allowed me to get out of the hostel, and get my own room in a flat. It also provided the finance for some more trips, and relieved me from some stress, although never knowing when it was going to end was stress in itself.

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