She took our orders (freshly squeezed orange juice, eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms and brown and white toast with butter and some delicious lime marmalade for me) and we admired her cozy, 500-year-old home and planned our day while we ate.
|Morris Dancers in the town square of Stow-on-the-Wold|
We decided to go to Blenheim Palace and possibly visit some of the other Cotswold villages in the afternoon. On our way out of Stow we heard some music and shouting in the town square and decided to see what was going on. We were excited to see that there were several troupes of Morris Dancers traveling from village to village and we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I think there were five or six groups (including a group visiting from Massachusetts) that were each taking a turn performing. Some of them had bells on their legs, some had handkerchiefs, some had sticks that they clacked together and some had even bigger sticks. Most of them wore white with brightly colored ribbons but one group was definitely edgier than the others with pheasant feathers in their hats and black and white face paint reminiscent of an 80s metal band.
|Border Morris dancers.|
|Border Morris musicians.|
|Main entrance of the palace.|
|Foyer inside the front doors of the palace.|
|Winston Churchill was born in this room,which was being used as a cloak room at the time. |
His curls, which were cut off when he was five, are in the box attached to the headboard of the bed.
|Some of Winston Churchill's paintings. The man had talent.|
I recently learned that among his many awards and honors, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Rochester--the same school where my husband earned his doctorate. You are in good company, Dr. Dunn!
After the Churchill exhibit we toured the rest of the palace. We started on a guided tour but it was so crowded and hard to hear the tour guide that we ended up kind of just going from room to room and doing our own thing.
|Opulent ceilings in every room|
|What's a palace without tapestries?|
|Some of the First Duke of Marlborough's battle flags.|
|Ceiling in the dining room.|
|The current Duke of Marlborough's family eats in here once a year on Christmas day.|
|That's a lot of utensils.|
|Another awesome ceiling.|
|Everyone needs a pipe organ "In Memory of Happy Days |
and as a Tribute to [their] Glorious Home..." Am I right?
|The ostentatious tomb of the First Duke of Marlborough in the Chapel at Blenheim. |
They had an itty-bitty statue of Jesus somewhere in the church too.
|Detail of the creepy dragon with weird teat-like scales on it's|
underbelly from the monument pictured above.
|The grounds had lots of fountains and Greek statuary--some with fig leaves|
in strategic locations, some without. #appreciatethefigleaf
|We thought this sphinx looked sad so we tried to cheer her up by taking a selfie with her.|
|Perfect spot for a picnic.|
|I was thrilled that we got to see a Cricket match in progress.|
I'm so glad we headed back when we did or we might have missed seeing the site that made my geeky, literature-loving heart flutter.
To Be Continued. . .