Saturday was one of those surprisingly warm, rare days when the usually cool autumnal sunshine decided to return to summer’s heat and radiate happiness onto those who have already begun to feel the sedating effect of shorter days that make one want to hide away and hibernate for as long as possible. This was the perfect opportunity for a road day-trip, so my cousin and I headed to the nearby Stratford, not fully knowing what to expect.
We knew it was the so-called ‘birthplace of Shakespeare’ but did not expect the town to fully reflect the dramatic yet tranquil poetic quality it did, with its thatched houses, cozy medieval inns, and beautiful trees. We managed to get to eat at the Garrick Inn, Stratford’s oldest pub, which was an interesting experience in itself. It was dark inside, with candles lighting the low-ceilinged rooms – it really made us focus on the texture of the food instead of how it looked.
There were so many swans flocked together into one place, yet despite their pushing and fighting over food the tourists fed them they remained graceful and did not even hiss when we came closer to them. They simply craned their long necks and examined us with curious, civilised expressions.
Taking a boat ride is the best way you can get a feel of the town, gliding past the swishing weeping willows which whisper ancient tales to you. The river is not that wide, so the trees along the riverbank form a cathedral around and above you, with the sun softly filtering through the branches.