Saturday 19th May
I caught this one a few minutes later:
The village of Chawton, and Jane's cottage, was every bit as picturesque as I imagined. We had some tea and lunch at Casandra's Cup, located across the street from Jane's home, before we went in.
We walked around the newly restored gardens, crushed up some lavender, and practiced writing with an inkwell and quill.
They also have some little games children could play, presumably with their father while their mums tour the house. ;) I really, really, wanted to play this version of Snakes and Ladders. I wish they would have sold it in the gift shop!
Finally, it was time to walk inside the sanctuary. There weren't too many tourists around, which was nice. My favorite places were her writing table, and her bedroom.
This was Jane's view from her windows (albeit, perhaps with a few less Jubilee decorations).
Carl was a good sport about our Chawton visit, but he did spend the last 30 minutes or so resting in the car park while I perused the gift shop. Sadly, it wasn't possibly to bring home everything they sold. They even had Jane Austen wrapping paper! Perfect for my birthday gifts. Oh wait, I told Carl no gifts but my trip were necessary. ;)
And we literally drove right past Stonehenge. Literally.
The road runs between the yellow rapeseed field and the green fields beyond the rocks. So you know we had to stop for five minutes.
We made it to Bath around 7:30 p.m., just in time for dinner. I'm a bit stunned we made it all the way until 11 pm that night with no nap - that's never happened to me on an international flight before. But we had fun going around Bath in the evening, before we finally crashed.
Our hotel is on this street, on the left, about two houses down.
Sunday 20th May
We headed out of Bath after sleeping in, to drive to Stourhead. Its part of the National Trust, and its gardens are some of the most famous in England.
Notably for me, bits of the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice were filmed here. Elizabeth runs across this bridge.
Before Mr. Darcy joins her at the Temple of the Apollo and proposes marriage.
I advised Carl that a roleplay might be in order, but he didn't seem too keen on that idea.
The house, well, I could have taken or left that one. A good chunk was not able to be viewed by the public, since the family still lives there. (By "lives" I mean, they visit for the odd weekend here or there). It was odd seeing a television and the liquor bottles in these rooms, I feel strange visiting a house that is still in use, although... I did entertain a feeling similar to Elizabeth's when she and her aunt and uncle tour Pemberley, and run into Mr. Darcy. "Of all this, I might have been mistress."
No Mr. Darcy appeared in a wet, white shirt, alas.
We then returned to Bath, and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening sightseeing and shopping.
Since this was my birthday, we opted to eat dinner at Sally Lunn's. We had had afternoon tea there on our last visit to Bath in 2000, and the Sally Lunn bunns are incredible. I had an appetizer that was basically a garlic toasted bunn, and Carl was very jealous he hadn't also We had a great meal, and they even brought me a treacle tart with a candle to blow out.
Up next: London, baby!