Stokesay Castle, Shropshire

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On our way back from Ludlow, we stopped at Stokesay Castle.  It was 4pm and they were closing, so we only got to see it from outside.  But still the sights are beautiful and fun to think we are standing in front of our second castle of the day.

DSC_0896-small DSC_0850-small DSC_0853-small DSC_0854-smallThe north tower of the castle.

DSC_0889-small DSC_0890-smallThe moat of the castle.

DSC_0855-small Stokesay Castle built in the 13th century, starting the contstruction around 1285.  Owned by Laurence of Ludlow, a leading wool merchant from that time who wanted it to be a secure, private house.  His family owned the castle until the 16th century.

DSC_0861-small DSC_0862-smallLucas would have loved to visit this castle and turn into a knight, maybe 2 years ago, when all his playing was about knights.

DSC_0863-smallThis is a view I don’t think I could tire of seeing.  The colors, the wood, the bricks… what a beautiful construction.  The gatehouse made out of wood and plaster in the 17th century.

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DSC_0865-small DSC_0866-smallSiena found a fury friend while we were walking the grounds.

DSC_0867-smallLook at this beautiful roof.

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Next to the castle, there is a church and the cemetery.

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All this history. I feel lucky to be able to stand there and see it with our own eyes.

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The castle is on this road.  And though most of the roads we took were paved, they were almost as wide as these ones.  I love how unique and calm and quiet it feels.

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Beekeeping in England

While visiting our friends in England, at their home, they have a couple of bee hives.  Some friends of theirs are the beekeepers, so they come and check the hives regularly.

It was fun to see the bees go about their business and see a little bit of beekeeping even in our trip.  Because beekeeping is a worldwide language.

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We had left our bees at home (of course), but Mark enjoyed getting in the hive with their friends, and seeing an English hive… not sure there was much difference from ours here.  But hey! You’ve got to poke around to learn, right?

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They had placed a new queen in the hive few weeks before we arrived, so they had been checking on her and how the hive was doing.

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All looked good.  It made all three beekeepers happy, because you know the saying… “happy queen, happy bees, happy beekeepers!”

 

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Ludlow’s Market

DSC_0756-smallThe market. No matter where, farmer’s markets, or everything-markets, are so much fun to visit.  This one was the first one in our trip.

DSC_0759-small DSC_0761-smallMmm… honey.  Beautiful color!

DSC_0760-small DSC_0764-small DSC_0762-small DSC_0763-small DSC_0765-small DSC_0768-small DSC_0766-small DSC_0767-smallSo many handmade goods. Lots of fun to look around.

DSC_0769-smallDelicious olives and pickles, we took for our picnic.

DSC_0770-small DSC_0771-small DSC_0800-small DSC_0802-small DSC_0803-smallWeaving.

DSC_0804-smallIf I could have brought some of these with us… I knew I couldn’t so I took a picture.

DSC_0806-small DSC_0807-small DSC_0808-smallBut oh these cups and teapots and plates… I couldn’t bring them either! So here are some photos.

DSC_0810-small DSC_0811-smallSo fun to look at everything new.  So much fun.

Posted in England, Food, friends, Handmade, Summer, travels | 3 Comments

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.

 

Posted in England, family, Summer, travels | 2 Comments