6 Oct 2009

The Cotswold, Stratford upon Avon, Llangollan

Today we drove through the beautiful Cotswold countryside. The land here is slightly hilly with beautiful rolling hills, pastures full of fat roly poly sheep and black and white cattle grazing lazily in the rich green fields. We stopped for an half hour at a small country town called Stow on the Wold. Wold actually means a small river so Stow on the Wold means town beside a small river! The weather is still drizzling - fine rain drops that seem innocuous but can still get you wet. Luckily we got our umbrellas now. After the brief stop we drove on through the Cotswold countryside. We passed picturesque looking country towns, small stone cottages that are so typical of England - surrounded by stone walls, lots of colourful flowers and climbing roses. How I wish we could take our time to enjoy all this beauty. Stratford upon Avon
Our next stop is a beautiful little town so well- preserved you could think that Shakespeare is still alive. Yes, its Stratford upon Avon - Shakespeare's birthplace. His parents' house is quite small by today's standards but at that time in the 14th century I suppose it passed for standard. The Avon is a river that passes through the town and is one of the most beautiful places in England. We had a walking tour of Stratford and had a group photo taken in front of Anne Hathaway's cottage. Anne Hathaway was Will Shakespeare's long suffering wife. Lunch was at a little Italian place in Stratford and was it yummy! Even Repin enjoyed the spaghetti which had a tangy sauce. We spent an enjoyable hour here looking at souvenir shops and taking pictures.
Llangollan, North Wales

From the Avon valleywe passed through to Northern Wales. The country here is more dramatic, with higher hills and shaggy crags. For lunch we stopped at Llangollan (pronounced as Sthlangothlan), a little town in Wales. Here we had a barge ride on an aqueduct - a kind of canal built by a Welsh engineer. It ran for many miles and parts of it is so high we can see the countryside around us for many miles. There are no aqueducts like this in the world so this is kind of a wonder. The ride took us an hour and after that we all trudged in the rain to a pub where all the others had drinks (of the alcoholic kind) so again Repin and I felt left out. Anyway after that we drove back to England and arrived in Chester our next stop by 7.30pm. After checking in we had dinner which was already prepared for us. It had been a fairly tiring day so we were quite glad to rest after that. Tomorrow is another early start!

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