Day 3 of the trip took us from London to Stratford-upon-Avon. Like so:
We had lunch in Oxford, after visiting Christ Church, which inspired much of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.
The tour guide, who was just phenomenal, walked us across town and gave us a mini-tour of part of the campus. This included him pointing out (we didn't have time to enter) the Bodleian Library. I had a moment of silent cheering in my head, because a) I love old libraries and b) I can now put a "face" to the place when it's mentioned in a series I quite enjoy.
Despite getting lost (as usual) near Christ Church and almost leaving my hat in Pret A Manger (of course I went back; it's not like I was just going to be passing through Oxford again anytime soon), we made it to the bus on time and continued on to. . .
. . . Bladon, where we saw Sir Winston Churchill's grave.
We also made friends with a black cat; it seemed like the Done Thing when hanging out in a graveyard.
From there, it was a short jump to Anne Hathaway's cottage - which still looks lovely.
And from there to Stratford-upon-Avon where we got an interesting tour of Shakespeare's birthplace.
I have no photos because of laptop doom (working on that), but I can tell you that the house is staffed by knowledgeable people with tons of interesting facts. We heard about the color choices in the parents' bedroom where the babies slept - red and green, if I remember correctly, to help keep the kids healthy and safe.
I also loved the room that preserved some of the original glass window panes. It apparently used to the the Cool Thing to leave one's mark when visiting tourist spots. For example, the parents' room has been repainted, because it was once covered in scrawls and scribbles. People wealthy enough to own a diamond would etch their name into the glass instead, and several of the more memorable names were pointed out.
According to my notes, we were so tired when we got back to the hotel that (after dinner and a walk) Alek fell asleep in his clothes. I wish I'd taken a photo, but the last entry in my book is "Hotel has me down as 'Ms. M [fulllastname]'. Have decided to change my name to 'Mycroft'." That's presumably when I fell asleep as well.
Next Time! Last Trip Post 2 of 4, wherein I muse on the Great Welsh Conspiracy and meet my soul-mate.