May 3-4, 2000
Cherry blossom pedals snow on the spring green grass of this well kept English town, but what makes this one special is that this is the place where Shakespeare was born, grew up, and lived in (while not working in London during his fame for 6 months at a time) his entire life.
"We that are true lovers run into strange capers," and other great lines were put from quill to paper here. Personally, I have always cherished the Sonnets that I discovered in high school, rediscovered in the old hand painted editions at my old college library, as a Christmas gift and now while leafing around in the many book shops that seem to outnumber any other type of establishment here.
The creaky floors of Shakespeare's parent's home where he grew up, his girlfriend's (then later wife), doctor, gardens and other places that were a part of Shakespeare's life (and often reflected in his works) are open for tours making you feel like you've know Willy and his family for years.
You also learn that it is true that Shakespeare often didn't come up with original ideas, but enhanced and rephrased them far better than the originals. Also, even back then, existed the equivalent of those street video tapes made from people taking camcorders into movie cinemas. "Bad quartos" were sold for 6 pence that were pirated copies of the plays - memorized during the performance and typeset shortly afterwards.
While times have changed, the flavor of this town probably hasn't changed too much (except for the tourists) and it's certainly a good taste for a day or two.