This has been a very Shakespearean week here in jolly old England! In my Shakespeare class this past Monday, we got a tour of the Globe Theater in Bankside. As most people know, this is not the original Globe, Shakespeare’s stomping grounds in the 17th century (that burned down in 1613), but a reconstruction made to very closely duplicate it. I didn’t realize the extent to which it is so exact, though, using the same layout and all the same materials as far as we understand about the original. For instance, it has the only thatch roof built after the Great Fire. And, of course, it’s still an open-air theater, which means we got snowed on a bit that morning! Unfortunately, that also means their show season doesn’t start till the warmer months. Understandably. But I will be gone before then (tear). Would have loved to see a show there.
Shakespeare Week Round 2 brought me on a daytrip this Saturday to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the well-known birthplace of our boy Billy S. We went in the house where he was born, and were accosted outside by actors performing scenes—you know the ones, that spring up wearing period garb and make you feel awkward. But it was all pretty cool. I really liked Stratford on the whole. Besides it being a massive tourist trap, it was a cute little town and the areas along the river were beautiful. (Side note: there are always swans just chilling on rivers here. It’s like, come on, England, even your average water birds have to be prettier than America’s?!)
After Stratford, we stopped over at Kenilworth to see Kenilworth Castle: not Shakespeare-related, but one of my favorite places outside of London so far. It’s a castle in ruins, which somehow immediately lends it a more mysterious, romantic quality, and had the effect of turning a bunch of college students into little kids again; it was basically a playground for adults. We climbed all over the stones, into hidden dark rooms, up turret staircases, and rolled down the grassy hill, like nobody’s business. Not to mention when you climb up to the higher stories of the castle that are still left standing, it’s an absolutely stunning view of the countryside and the Elizabethan garden. I could have stayed there all day exploring, and walking some of the trails nearby that cut through the countryside. So perfect!
Stay tuned for news about a trip to the coast next weekend, to Dover, and on whether or not I make out the other side of midterms week! Cheers.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Ariana is a junior at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. On campus, she is busy with bellydance and yoga, and as an executive member of the student health club. She has ridden elephants in Thailand and gone whitewater rafting in New Zealand, but her time studying abroad in London will be her first experience of Europe, which she hopes to make the very most of. Writing is how she makes sense of the world, and she hopes to share this blog with you while she explores jolly old England!</span></p>