Copied from my old blog: http://dancinginviolentfields.com/steps-of-faith/
Back in 2015....
I travelled through beautiful parts of the English countryside and entered the Warwickshire district; Stratford-Upon-Avon. Furthermore known as the place where Shakespeare was born. It took about 3 hours to reach this place via bus, but unfortunately I had to head to Birmingham before returning back to Stratford in the morning. My last blog post mentions of my awful experience in Birmingham, and therefore I was completely dishearten to return back there for the bus/ferry to Dublin, Ireland. However that is a different story so I will proceed first to explain how much I fell in love not only with Stratford-upon-avon; but also with Henley in Arden.
As I arrived to Stratford for the first time I recognised just how gorgeous it is. The trees formed golden silhouettes from the sun as they dripped autumn leaves from their branches. Radiating innocence. The houses looked like what you would imagine the gingerbread man to live in. Plants hugging the outside of the cottages, as though they have been firmly established for a while.
Just a bit of dreamy imagery going on for you there!
I knew we had officially entered the town when the welcoming sign appeared,
Welcome To Stratford, Beautiful Britain in Bloom!
To me, that felt like the most appropriate way to welcome you into a writers paradise. Instantly I knew there was no wonder that Shakespeare was inspired here. This “Writers Paradise” was clarified even more clearly to me when I later walked along the canal towards the church where Shakespeare is actually buried. Legit? YES! It was crazy insane to see this place.
I went out on a limb and booked the YHA Youth Hostel about 10 minutes by bus out of Stratford. Bus tickets each way are so expensive for a gal on a budget so this was reasonably frustrating. However everything worked out, as it always does. I had booked myself a ticket to see a new rendition of the theatre performance Hecuba in the official Royal Shakespeare Theatre. I was looking forward to this as theatre performances are always very special to me. I noticed that the last bus of the day returns back to the hostel at 7:20pm. My play wasn’t until 7:30pm so how on earth was I to return home? I wouldn’t even attempt hitchhiking in the day, let alone in the nighttime. Taxi’s would be more expensive than buses and I couldn’t barely afford those. Things weren’t looking good for my little theatre night out, but I told myself not to worry and trust it would be all work out. Just after I decided this, two American girls walked into my room which was now half theirs and we got talking. They had hired a car for the week and were also interested on seeing a theatre performance at the same time as mine so therefore I had a lift there and back. Splendid!! Too easy, I thought.
Everything fell into place from then on out, the next day I got in contact with one of my Mum’s friends whom lives nearby Stratford in a town called Henley in Arden. I had never met her before but from her tone online I could instantly tell that I was going to enjoy my time with her! She was due to the meet me at the bus stop in Henley as I was still at the YHA hostel. I made it in Stratford but was low on money and the ATM would not let me withdraw anything. My bus to Henley arrived right on time at 11:21am and I stared in despair as I could not afford to hop on it. That still quiet voice told me just to enquire about a possibility to pay them when I got to Henley; the bus was empty so I felt okay in doing this. I asked the two guys if it was possible and they replied “No you don’t need to pay at all its okay hop on we will take you to Henley”. I had been blessed AGAIN!
Mum’s friend met me at the bus stop and shouted me to English cream tea (Tea & Scones). We instantly connected, she was super lovely. We walked a few metres down the street to where she rents a place with an older man. Upon meeting me the older man turned to Mum’s friend and said “Oh she’s quite a beauty isn’t she” which made me feel instantly at home. I was even more blessed when the pub nearby which my mum’s friend works at offered a free night accommodation + breakfast in order to welcome me to the town. I thought it was such a beautiful gesture to a stranger whom they didn’t know. In the times that are hard I must remember just how blessed I have been so far.
What felt like a THOUSAND tea cups later, multiple catchups near the t.v and fireplace and the best hospitality I could ask for it was time for me to leave Henley in Arden. As sad as I was leaving, I was also excited for the next adventure where I would be heading to Dublin, Ireland to meet with Kai & Krystal.
Click here to read about my Ireland adventures: