Thursday, July 15, 1999

Bath 1999: excerpts from my study abroad journal


Right now I am sitting in a park between the River Avon and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It is so pretty here. But it is a little chilly and windy. This is a charming town, but obviously very touristy. When we arrived here, we went to lunch at this pizza place called Ask. They had really good food and I ordered a pizza with an egg on it. It was very different and very excellent food.

After lunch, we decided to go to Holy Trinity Church to see Shakespeare's tomb. I paid 40p to get in, which was worth it. The inside of the church was so beautiful, probably the most beautiful church I had ever seen. I was so much in awe of seeing his grave. After we left the church, we strolled along the streets and explored the shops. I bought a really large amount of postcards and stamps, and a Buckingham Palace Guard teddy bear for mom.

Stratford is best when you just sit by the river. We sat for hours, watching the little boats on the river and the swans and the people coming and going. It's peaceful and has pretty gardens and a huge statue of Shakespeare with Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Falstaff and Prince Hal. I took a lot of pictures.

It's crazy, but we ate at McDonald's for dinner. It was cheap and we all spent a lot of money today. We wanted to go to Shakespeare's birthplace, but it cost 5 quid to get in. So we just took pictures instead.

(Note: This is one of my great regrets from this trip. Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore Shakespeare, so to not see his birthplace was incredibly foolish.)


We just boarded the bus after seeing Othello. All I can say is, wow. It was so amazing, emotional, powerful, gripping, etc. etc. We had excellent seats in the third row. There were times when tears came to my eyes. There are very few times when I have seen better theatre. Actually, I think it was the best play I have ever seen...

After the play, the actors came out to answer questions. It was really interesting to see how each actor approaches their character and the play in general. This has definitely been one of the best days I've had since I've been in England.

(note: And that continued to be the case. The very next day, my grandfather died, and I had to go home for his funeral. I came back a week later to finish my program, but my entire attitude about it had changed.)

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