Ludlow Castle + Shakespeare Festival

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To celebrate Siena’s birthday, our friends Mac and Ros gave us the experience of going to see a Shakespeare Play. As You Like It. When Ros asked us few months before if that would be something we wanted to do while visiting, the kids said right away they did want to go.  Knowing it was a comedy, we thought it might be easier than other plays but we thought we’d read it before we went.

DSC_0722-smallWhen we arrived in Ludlow, you could see the town was celebrating.  There were people dressed up everywhere.  Other’s performing in the streets, outside the castle.

DSC_0776-small DSC_0798-small DSC_0774-small DSC_0778-smallWe went for a walk to see the castle before we went inside for the play.

DSC_0783-small DSC_0784-smallIt reminded me a little of the views we had in Gwalior, in India.  Maybe it was because we were with Ros, Mac and Ro.  Everyone we had first met while in India.

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DSC_0819-small DSC_0814-small DSC_0817-small DSC_0823-small DSC_0825-smallThere were no pictures allowed inside, during the play, but we have the memories and lots of funny stories.

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Ludlow, a beautiful town, I’d recommend visiting, if you are in that part of the world.

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Ludlow, Shropshire

DSC_0702-smallThe day after we arrived in Wem (in Shropshire), at our friends’ home, we headed south to the beautiful town of Ludlow.

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DSC_0703-smallWe had a friend of Mac and Ros join us.  She traveled a couple of hours from her place, to see us and go to the play in Ludlow with us.  We met Ro in India, when she went to see Ros and Mac. So it was really fun and special to see her again, now in England.

DSC_0707-smallDo I need to say much about how excited Lucas and Siena were to ride in Ro’s convertible?

DSC_0704-small DSC_0711-smallEverything seemed so special and beautiful as we started our walk through the streets of Ludlow.  After being in London, such a big city, we welcomed the smallness of it.  We love the countryside, no matter where we are.DSC_0712-small DSC_0715-small The Tudor buildings, I must say, were one of my favorite things of England.

DSC_0723-smallSo were these signs.

DSC_0720-small DSC_0727-small DSC_0728-small DSC_0729-smallPathways, streets, roads, all much smaller than what we are used to here in the US.

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St. Laurence’s Church, built around the 1100’s.

DSC_0738-small DSC_0740-small DSC_0736-small DSC_0746-small DSC_0747-smallBreathtaking.  DSC_0750-small DSC_0749-small DSC_0753-small DSC_0755-small We walked through the streets of Ludlow towards the market and the castle.

DSC_0744-small DSC_0773-small DSC_0777-small DSC_0779-small DSC_0781-small DSC_0834-small DSC_0836-small DSC_0839-small DSC_0840-small DSC_0843-small DSC_0844-small DSC_0849-small DSC_0848-smallI leave you with the beautiful sounds we heard as we got off the cars and as we walked the streets of Ludlow.  It was a long while, making our welcome to this beautiful town, such a memorable one (for this and so much more!)

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last weeks in our garden

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It’s funny because during the past years, I’ve turned into the helper of these wonderful gardeners I live with.  And to tell you the truth, this year is so little what I have done to help with it, compared to before.  They have done a great job and it is so much fun to see them working together and to see what it’s growing out there sometimes a surprise.  But of course, we are also seeing what we are getting from their garden.

DSC_0016-smallFew strawberries came up this year, from new plants.  Even a bit late, but it’s fun to see them turn red and snack as you pass by them.  The same with the raspberries.  Very late (they are in a shady bed, I think it’s the reason.)

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These apples right here, not so much for eating, but there’s loads of fallen apples we need to compost.  I know there’s always more up in the tree, and more than enough for us to eat and share and can and freeze.  But still… the feeling of sending them off to be composted is the same each year.  But the apple sauce jars are filling the shelves right now.  Mark has taken that to be his job and I appreciate all what he’s done.

Tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, green beans, basil, lettuce, are all coming into our kitchen from the garden.  We are trying to eat them as they come, but I see some of them piling.   Maybe I have to make more of that zucchini chocolate cake, right?

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More of London

Before we continue with our trip in the countryside of England, with our friends, I have these last photos of our city days in the capital of England.  A little more of beautiful London. DSC_0351-small

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Here’s more of London, so we don’t forget before we leave this fun city.

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DSC_0191-small DSC_0194-small DSC_0160-small opera in London 3-small opera in London 2-smallOpera House.

DSC_0709-small DSC_0704-smallThe hotel where we stayed in London was close to all these theaters.  We didn’t go to any functions, but maybe next time.  There were lots to choose from.  Big city selection, I guess.

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Early in the morning, the garbage and recycling bags were sitting outside the restaurants and pubs, ready to be picked up.  But the city is pretty clean.  We didn’t see lots of trash laying around.

DSC_0408-smallWe walked a lot, looking for places, seeing things, deciding what to do next.  Everything was so interesting, and fun to figure out. London, for being such a big city, it’s pretty walkable, and we did just that.

DSC_0399-small DSC_0684-small DSC_0707-smallAnd by the end of the day, we were tired and ready to rest.  Though it was the World Cup, and we welcomed having a TV in the room to watch some of the games.  We had a little for everyone.

 

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Wem, Shropshire

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After spending 5 days in London, we took the train up north to our friends home.  On the way to their place, from the train station, we drove through Wales.  So I guess we can say we were there too!  (Add another country to our list, right?)

DSC_0044-small DSC_0046-smallThe closest town is Wem (in the county of Shropshire), a market town of about 5,000 people.  And very cute I might add!

DSC_0045-small DSC_0050-small DSC_0052-small DSC_0053-small DSC_0054-smallTheir public library has readings to the dogs as well.  Just like ours!

DSC_0055-small DSC_0056-small DSC_0057-small DSC_0062-small(I love the names of the streets in England.)

DSC_0063-small DSC_0064-smallWe like writing and mail is a fun way to do that.  We were always in search of postcards, post office and a mailbox.

DSC_0066-small DSC_0074-small DSC_0068-small DSC_0070-small DSC_0073-small DSC_0072-smallWelcome to Wem, and the continuation of our travels.  The second stop in our trip.

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A different train ride

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After spending 5 days in London and having seen our friends Mac and Ros and having said good bye to them too, we were heading back to their home now.

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From the hotel we walked few blocks to take the bus to find that the two buses we could have taken to the train station were re-routed.  But the beginning date was that next day, so people (besides us) were confused every time we checked with someone about the bus lines we were waiting for.  After 30 minutes waiting, and getting nervous of missing our train, we continued to walk in the right direction, to try to find a bus to take us to Euston Train Station.

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We arrived at the station with time.  They don’t give the platform in which the train leaves just 10 or 15 minutes before it leaves.  So we stood there with enough time to catch our breaths.

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And then we looked for our train.  No problem at all. Clear, quick, easy to find and get on, no crowds.  A very different experience than the train rides we experienced in India or even the one we took to Seattle couple of years ago.

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Lucas’s worries were all cleared once we stepped into the train.

DSC_0024-small DSC_0020-smallWe settled in our seats.

DSC_0031-smallWe looked outside as we left the station and then the beautiful countryside it started to appear as we left the capital.

DSC_0022-smallWe remembered our days in London.  With our favorites and the personal top 3.  With those places we didn’t get to this time, and which ones we will go to next time.

DSC_0032-smallWe looked at the map to see where we were going next, and what we were leaving behind.

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DSC_0037-smallWe listened to “books on tape.”  OK, I know we haven’t used the tapes in our house for years.  We did have and record a tape of Siena’s heart beat when I was pregnant with her (12 years ago) and there’s only been a couple of books on tape borrowed from the library since then, but “books on tape” comes out of our mouths easier than audiobooks.  But I am so thankful for MP3 players and the much lighter bag that comes with it.  I saved over 30 different books (many, many more CDs!) in that little thing… amazing what the technology can offer.  Isn’t it?

DSC_0041-small DSC_0042-smallOh, and yes coloring.  These kids love coloring (me too!)  Greek Goddesses and Gods a request from the kids, as we studied Greece few months ago, and now they are listening the Percy Jackson books, for the second (third?) time.

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The Tower Bridge, London.

DSC_0342-small DSC_0343-small DSC_0350-small DSC_0356-small DSC_0359-smallFrom the water.  On a sunny day.  On a cloudy afternoon or evening light.  We saw this beautiful bridge in all ways imaginable. I guess, except from the air!

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It was fun to go under the bridge.  It was in the days we took the boat on the Themes.  But we also rode the bus and went on the bridge a few times, and what a sight it was.

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As you can see, we loved this bridge, as much as we did Big Ben. These pictures though, were mostly for me.

Posted in England, history + geography, homeschooling, travels | 2 Comments