|Today we said goodbye to Derbyshire. Sigh. Before we checked out of our hotel we walked around Bakewell a bit - we had sone so last night, but being Sunday evening everything was closed. We did a little shopping; I bought a copy of the British version of the first Harry Potter book. The lady in the bookshop didn't realize that there are differences in the American edition - like the title. We also bought some Bakewell tarts, because we wanted to see if they bake well in Bakewell. They were okay; kind of like a cake pie with jelly in the bottom.
Our first stop for the day was Haddon Hall, which was just a couple of mikes away, and when we arrived shortly before 11 we found out they don't open until noon. We kind of waffled about staying, particularly because we were really only there to see one room where a scene from Pride and Prejudice was filmed, and it was beginning to seem like a long wait and a lot of money just for that, but we decided to stay, and I am so glad we did because I loved it! It is a very, very old house - like nearly a thousand years old, and was surprisingly beautiful. In addition to being used as the Rose and Crown Inn in P&P, it was also Thornfield Hall, I think in the latest Jane Eyre. I'll have to watch it again to see if I recognize it. It makes a good Thornfield. If I had to choose between living in Chatsworth or living in Haddon Hall, I would choose Haddon Hall. Much cozier. I guess that means I would have to marry Mr. Rochester instead of Mr. Darcy.
Next it was time for more careening around country roads. It really is quite maddening trying to get anywhere in this country. You hear about the roundabouts, but I never realized there are so many of them! When I get home I think I am going to kiss the first stop sign I see. I find all of this aggravating, and I'm not even the one driving! Anyway, we careened our way to Burghley House, which was used for the interiors of Rosings in P&P. It was very grand, but it really was sensory overload. So many paintings and tapestries... We were talking to one of the docents and she told us she was an extra in the movie - in the church scene. We'll keep an eye out for her when we watch again. We had lunch (very late) in the cafe, so I guess now I can say I dined at Rosings. By the time we were done they were closing, but we did walk around the grounds a little bit, and saw the filming of a scene with helicopters for a Bollywood movie.
After we left the erstwhile Rosings we went into Stamford to try to find the place where they filmed the
Meryton scenes for P&P. Fortunately at Chatsworth I bought a book about where all the Jane Austen movies have been filmed, and it listed the streets. So, we bought a street map (in several towns we have found vending machines that sell city maps for a pound - very useful. We hope to find one in Bath), and found the spot. They had changed things in the film, but fortunately I have the movie on the iPod Touch, so we were
able to cue up the scene and compare. Stamford is an aesthetically pleasing city, but like all the cities we have been in, has crazy, narrow roads, and basically shuts down at 5:00.
After Meryton came a tedious journey to Bath, featuring 75,000 roundabouts and not enough M roads (major highways. However, now we are in Bath, and happy to be here - I have longed to see Bath since I first read Persuasion and Northanger Abbey in college. So far we have only seen enough of the city to know it has the craziest roads yet, and our flat is very nice.
Today is the 4th of July. It is an Anerican holiday that at best I would think the British would be indifferent to, but 2 of the places we have been in the last couple of days we saw advertisements for events on the 4th with "An American theme," (one was a concert, I don't remember what the other was, but I think it may have been at a pub), and when we bought our tickets at Burghley House today, and got talking to the lady about the US because J was wearing his IRM shirt, she wished us a happy Independence Day. Then when we got to Bath our landlady mentioned it, too. All I can figure is they like the holiday because it commemorates getting rid of
us. Still, it feels weird to be in England of all places, and there have certainly been no fireworks. I miss the fireworks. Just to observe our national holiday we had dinner at a place called American Hamburgers, but mostly because it was nearby. Last night we ate in a pub for the first time, quintessentially British food in a very British setting, but tonight we were all-American. Until J started quoting Henry Tilney to me over dinner. (I love being married to a man who can quote Henry Tilney to me, even if it's the movie version).