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  • Day100

    Day 100: Ironbridge & Amberley

    May 26, 2017 in England ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Hard to believe it's been 100 days since we left Australia! But we thought we should celebrate in the most appropriate way possible: a long drive and UNESCO World Heritage site! We left fairly early, around 9am, and made our way north-east along several freeways to Stratford-upon-Avon, our first port of call.

    We stopped first at Anne Hathaway's cottage, which looked nice although quite touristy and expensive. Anne Hathaway was of course Shakespeare's wife, and likely no relation to the currently-famous Anne Hathaway. We took a few pictures from the road outside, and sated ourselves with a cream tea in the sunny garden cafe nearby. Drove through the rest of Stratford, but pressed onwards since we had a lot more miles to cover today.

    From here we headed northwest again, still lots of motorway driving and an annoying amount of traffic since it was the Friday before a long weekend. After a brief stop at services for lunch (Burger King and a Marks & Spencer sushi box), we finally arrived at Ironbridge Gorge around 2:30pm.

    It's hard to believe these days, but these tiny little villages in Shropshire were once at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. Ironbridge is home to the world's first cast-iron bridge, which opened up new possibilities for constructing things like taller buildings and higher railway bridges. It was in this area as well, where a local man first had the idea to use coke, a coal mining byproduct, to heat the blast furnaces smelting iron. This resulted in much stronger and purer iron, less rust and of course removing the need to chop down trees en mass for wood to burn.

    We did some filming at the bridge, then wandered over to the museum which wanted 10 pounds for entry. We declined, but thankfully the most interesting part - the original blast furnace - was in a separate building away from the carpark, so we wandered briefly around there, filmed what we needed to, and snuck away. Sorry!

    Back in the car where we commenced the long 2.5 hour drive south to the Cotswolds and our house-sit. It's time to take a break from travelling for a few days, and we've arranged to look after a trio of dogs for a family while they holiday in London.

    We met the family and the dogs and had a good chat, went over all the routines and everything, then headed to the pub for dinner. It's in a tiny little town called Amberley just outside Stroud in the Cotswolds. The house is quite nice and the dogs are lovely, so I think we'll be quite comfortable here for the next few days! And we'll hopefully get a lot of work done as well - I'm chronically behind in both my writing and my videos!
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    Traveler

    Anne Hathaway's cottage. I haven't researched its authenticity so take that with a grain of salt!

    5/29/17Reply
    Traveler

    The world's first cast-iron bridge

    5/29/17Reply
    Traveler

    Iron Museum

    5/29/17Reply
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