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Warwick and Amsterdam 2014

Sunday, 16 Nov. 2014

Greetings from the Fox & Vivian in Leamington Spa! I arrived in the UK yesterday for a couple of weeks at U. Warwick before I go to the Nederlands Bank for a week, followed by a few days teaching Executive MBAs back here.

Today’s big adventure was a trip to Warwick to see Warwick Castle. I should show you some pics…..

 

An English Park (Warwick)

An English Park (Warwick)

So the picture above (from the garden behind the Tourist Info Centre in Warwick) tells you something about the atmosphere; moist, green and very, very old. The castle’s roots go back to an earthen fort established in 914 by the Mercians as protection against the Danes (i.e. Vikings), who ruled pretty much everything west of Coventry.

Warwick also reeks England. In fact, I’d not even gotten to the castle when this sign caused me to detour.

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That led me to a 17th century cottage where I ate at a small table (seated next to a suit of armour) and drank a wonderful cuppa tea from Malawi (who knew Malawi had good tea!?) The sultana scone was perfection. I left happy.

Time for tea!

Time for tea!

So the castle was … everything that you’d hope for in a British castle (except perhaps for John Cleese taunting you from the ramparts.)

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As you can see from the last set of pictures above, the previous owners were keen on collecting armour (which survived the 1871 that destroyed much of the manor house by being chucked out of the windows.)

The views from the castle are also pretty pictoresque….

Lovely heritage houses

Lovely heritage houses next to the river Avon.

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View over river Avon

Wait a second…..look hard at that last picture…..what’s that in the field on the left?!?

Needs a closer look….

Is that what I think it is?

Is that what I think it is?

Yes. Yes, it is what you think it is.

It's a Trebuchet. (Full Scale.)

It’s a Trebuchet. (Full Scale.)

Now, just so you understand, the axles on the wheels that you’re looking at are just slightly higher than my head. The whole thing appears to be have been built without any metal parts.

Oh, and it’s not just a mock-up; it works. Summer nights after dark, they do demonstrations. Why after dark, you wonder? Because they launch fireballs….(no joke.)