Day 14: Warwick Castle, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford University

Today we had another day trip! Our tour guide today was hilarious and our driver's name was Atilla (I am NOT kidding) and he was also hilarious. Our whole group was much better then the first day trip which made for an enjoyable day despite some rain. Our first stop was the ancient castle Warwick built by William the Conqueror in 1068. The castle was later turned into a stately family home and that was what we toured. The castle was beautiful and there was ancient arms and paintings adorning the walls. Unfortunately it was raining very hard throughout this stop which made it a bit less fun.
Very rainy morning at Warwick Castle

Our next stop was Stratford-Upon-Avon to view the birthplace of William Shakespeare. It amazes me that the house is still there and walking through it was so cool because you literally stepped back in time. In one room there were professional actors who said they would take requests from any Shakespeare work and perform a part of it. The performed the first meeting of Romeo and Juliet wonderfully. Such a fun touch. The whole town of Stratford was adorable and just so English.
Birthplace of Shakespeare!!
Inside his house

Our last stop was the oldest university in the world: Oxford. We took a short tour of the campus but it is so sprawling that we only got through a small piece. We were able to go inside Brasnose College which boasts alumni such as David Cameron and William Golding. I also got to see the statue that inspired Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter movies and the lightning bolts carved into the sidewalk outside the Sheldonian Theatre that gave inspiration for Harry to get his lightning bolt scar. I also saw the Eagle and Child pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met to read each others developing novels and discuss writing and literature. As a huge fan of both, this was a huge fangirl moment.

Original stained glass beside replaced clear glass following WW2 bombing that shattered the original windows in this room inside Brasnose
Project related, inside the common room for Brasnose College, some of the stained glass windows had been blown out during bombing of WW2. Instead of replacing the stained glass, they replaced the windows with clear glass so the effect of the war would never be forgotten. This is yet another example of how this country bears their scars with pride. They choose to remember the bad times and how they rose above it instead of covering up the scars and trying to forget.
Most beautiful university

Nearly Headless Nick!!!
Look familiar? Harry?
Pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien discussed their famous novels such as Lord of the Rings and The Lion, The  Witch and the Wardrobe!
On the way home, a car broke down in the middle of the road and our bus driver and guide decided to move it for the guy so they put the bus in park and literally pushed the car out of the way. Quite an entertaining end to our day. Overall, I highly enjoyed this day trip as I got to see more of England and view some places of huge historical and cultural significance. Of course I had to get an Oxford sweatshirt so I look extra smart back in the states ( I have always wanted an Oxford sweatshirt!).

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