Monday, June 6, 2016

Thoughts on Adventure - Installment 4



Day 5 (Sat) - Oxford! 
 
Up quite early to catch a train for Oxford.  The train was delayed an hour due to "mechanical issues" so I ended up on another train & rode an hour or so through some stunning countryside.  Picturesque, lushly green, rolling hills, quaint cottages...  

view from the train
view from the train

 Had a lovely conversation with a young Irishman named Owen who had studied seismology at UC Berkley & was working on his PHD.  He wanted to talk about America, and the differences in California & Texas.

And then Oxford.  Walked all day on cobblestone streets, which take some getting used to. (Wrecked my ankle, misery for the remainder of the trip)  Some of the buildings are nearing 1,000 yrs old. I touched many of them!   I toured Oxford Castle, which was mainly a fortification for a few years until turned into a prison.  And trust me, not a prison you want to be in.  I opted not to climb the 101 steps up the tower.

 
Oxford castle
Oxford castle tower













         Then lunch (mushroom "pie" & mashed potatoes - yummy & hot & 
         filling) then the Bodleian library at the university, where they had a 
         dual exhibition - Shakespeare's Dead & the Treasures of the
          Bodleian.  



Oxford Camera
Inside the church








Tower & gate, old Bodleian






courtyard, old Bodleian library



1. Shakespeare had (to me) unreadable handwriting.  Perhaps because he was simply writing so fast...?? The exhibit dealt with the characters he killed off, and the challenges to the actors.

 2.  My eyes landed on an original of the MAGNA CARTA.  Such a simple, unembellished document to have had such a lasting impact on humanity.

Magna Carta - 1214

3.  The oldest document in their collection was on display as well - the Papal Charter for the city - from 1213.  So many incredible manuscripts! 

Then the Ashmoleian Museum.  Some stunning works in their collection & I was not disappointed.  But the Museum was hot - no air stirring - and full of people - and I just couldn't breathe.  So ended up just walking thru the streets, slowly making my way back to the train station.  And suddenly came upon a canal where there were narrow houseboats docked!  

Canal
Narrow houseboats












And I passed 3 different musicians playing in the streets!  Wonderful!



Fiddler in the mall

Street band

5 comments:

  1. I have been to Cambridge, but never to Oxford. Having read Brideshead Revisited and fallen in love with all the interwar stuff I really should make it a priority to visit Oxford. Street musicians can really add to a place (or not, depending upon how good they are; Bill sometimes comments 'Well, you have to practice somewhere...'). They are called 'buskers' but I don't know the origin of the word.

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  2. I have been to Cambridge, but never to Oxford. Having read Brideshead Revisited and fallen in love with all the interwar stuff I really should make it a priority to visit Oxford. Street musicians can really add to a place (or not, depending upon how good they are; Bill sometimes comments 'Well, you have to practice somewhere...'). They are called 'buskers' but I don't know the origin of the word.

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  3. I'm a huge fan of the Inspector Morse & Inspector Lewis & Midsomer Murders series, so this was a highlight for me. The musicians (buskers - will have to look that up) were pretty good for the most part, and fun. I have only seen the movie Brideshead Revisited - must read the book!
    I had originally intended to go to Cambridge & the American Cemetery in Madingly, and IMW Duxford, but couldn't work out the logistics.

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  4. Public transport is great, but there are times when you just can't get somewhere on it or at least not within a sensible time frame.

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  5. Public transport is great, but there are times when you just can't get somewhere on it or at least not within a sensible time frame.

    ReplyDelete