Day 4: Castles and Pubs
The British comedian Eddie Izzard said:
Wellllllllllllll…. okay… that may be a *slight* exaggeration, but hey! It’s funny.
OKAY! We’re off and about today, with a full day of castle exploration ahead of us! Our destination is Eastnor Castle, which was built in 1810 as a country manor, but in the style of a medieval fortress. The drive from Julian and Jenny’s takes us past the beautiful Malvern hills again, and through the narrow and winding tree-lined roads that are typical of this part of England.
When we first arrive in the car park (“Englishism” for parking lot) and go into the grounds, there’s a really cool-looking hedge maze that the kids drag us towards. The hedges that make up the walls of the maze, itself, are at least 7 to 8 feet high, so it’s not like any of us can see over them. So… we plow right into the maze!!!
We hear this pathetic “Hellllp?”… and we tell her to stick her hands up in the air.
THERE she is!!!!
The interior was really beautiful, and decorated with tapestries and other “castle-like” trappings. A huge dining hall, a library with dark wood bookcases that stretch floor-to-ceiling with books, and high ceiliings give a feeling of grandeur in this imposing building. As we walk around the back of the castle, there are some really fantastic sights of the grounds. A scenic lake and forest stretch into the surrounding hills:
We start our walk through the tall trees of the Eastnor forest, following a footpath that takes us deep into the cool, cool shade, which was a welcome break, as the temperatures today were approaching 90 degrees!!!
So, after a brief water break and a couple of souveniers, we’re heading off to dinner at one of Julian and Jenny’s favorite pubs — The Rose and Crown. In the second picture below, Julian actually thought we were taking a *serious* picture.
Some of the tombstones are *MASSIVE* — the one Melanie’s standing next to has a date of 1860 on it, although I’ve actually seen some grave markers on previous trips from the 1300s!!! You can imagine how spooky this must be on a foggy moonlit night!!!