The Wallaces Fly 3700 Miles to Take in a Play

(Posted 9/25/2006) - Jon and Pat Wallace enjoyed an evening at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre in Stratford upon the Avon on the 19th of this month.

We watched as the RSC performed The Tempest. The wizard Prospero was played by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame. The playhouse was packed; but the seats were comfortable and we sat center section in the front. The production was well done and we both loved the interpretation. It included Shakespeare's farewell monologue too (The Tempest was his farewell play; in a sense he might be seen as Prospero, giving up his profession with the end of the play).

We flew to Heathrow Airport arriving Monday morning the 18th. We took a train out of MaryLeBone Station arriving at Stratford mid-day. After settling into the Arden Guest House, we did a little sight seeing and ate a pleasant dinner in Stratford.

Tuesday we walked down to the Avon and I snapped a shot of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre on the river. We rounded out our walk by visiting Shakespeare's birthplace, his homesite, and his gravesite; all within a short walk of each other.

I plan to put up a photo-album soon with pictures and descriptions of our visit.

In Stratford we also especially enjoyed visiting the Butterfly Farm. There is something very satisfying about watching dozens of exotic butterflies fluttering in and out of beautiful folliage only a few feet away.

The next day we trained back to London's Paddington Station and took the Great Western Line to Bath, where we stayed four days at the Spa House, which provides guest rooms across the street from The Thermae baths.

In Bath we took both the walking tour, and the river tour. We visited the Jane Austin Center and enjoyed outstanding meals at some of the best restaurants: The Pump Room and the Moon and SixPence were especially memorable.

On Friday we took a half-day trip out to see Stonehenge and the village of Lacock. For those of you that watched the BBC presentation of Pride and Prejudice, Lacock was the setting for the fictional village of Merrington. Lacock is owned by the British National Trust, which leases the properties to families with historical ties to the area. It's sort of like the Manhattan Rents Control on steroids.

Sunday morning we took the train back to Paddington, then expressed back to Heathrow. We ended up waiting on our plane for 3-hours before our fine US Homeland Security could check the passenger manifest and decide there were no terrorists on board. Once we were airborn everything went smoothly -- we arrived Sunday night at 10:30PM and were through customs within 20 minutes.

All in all a great vacation!