Weekend in Warwickshire

There's probably no better person to accompany you on a castle-excursion than a prince. And it so happens, just as Kasey and I embarked upon an extremely impromptu trip up north to see Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick Castle, we unexpectedly ran into a royal friend of mine. Though his palace happens to be in Rajasthan (and I do mean palace), he knew enough about English fort strategy, battlements, and castle layout, to easily pass for one of William the Conqueror's progeny - King William being the man responsible for building the still-splendid Warwick in the late 11th century.

This foster descendant of Will, with his command of fortress design, took complete charge of our Warwick expedition. Our prince guided us through the castle war rooms and towers, paused patiently for pictures, furnished us with an umbrella, ensured we took great care climbing the dark spiraling staircases, and then, treated us to tea. What was meant to be a day of ordinary sightseeing through Warwickshire's preserved remnants, ended up as a veritable trek through living chivalry; astonishing proof that, while rare, the concept is indeed, NOT dead. How refreshing!

(P.S. - As a TOTAL aside, also at Warwick was Verne Troyer, aka "Mini Me" from Austin Powers. The guy is unbelievably tiny (like, two feet tall - yet another reminder of how movie cameras make people look far more substantial than they actually are) and, from what I could tell, very energetic. At the castle tower, he gleefully taunted his accompanying motley crew by perilously jumping up and down on a grate that offered a hair-raising view of the ground far far below (I bet the large spaces in between those slats have meant the death of several mobile phones.)

Although Troyer and his friends naturally caught my attention, I didn't stare too closely, so I had no idea the little daredevil was anyone of note. I even rather obliviously asked a member of his entourage to snap a picture of our trio... Ha, NOW I understand the rather bemused look he gave me in response.)

Below are a few pictures from our countryside excursion. Enjoy!

Local cathedral as seen through the cross-shaped archery opening in one of the castle's parapets.

Warwick Castle upon approach... complete with drawbridge.

View of the interior castle grounds and green valley from the highest tower.

Closer to Stratford-Upon-Avon... the childhood home of Anne Hathaway, wife of another William: Shakespeare.

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