Friday, June 2, 2017

Oxford, City of Dreaming Spires (or Blueberry Capital of Nova Scotia)

Our final day in Oxford and it has been a busy, fascinating, but not completely restful stay. There is just so much to see. We seem to have overcome the jet lag and have started to get our walking legs in working order for the next stage of our trip. We are looking forward to escaping the city life and opting for peace and tranquility in the Cotswolds. 
Our day began with a walk along the Isis Canal, working our way toward the city centre and the Ashmolean Museum. We spent 2+ hours here, wandering around the various rooms and soaking in more of Britain's and the world's history. We then ventured off to The Eagle and Child, a pub frequented by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien where they put away a brew or two and likely shared thoughts on their writing. We then spent the afternoon meandering through some open markets and then set off for St. Mary the Virgin Church to climb the clock tower and get a birds eye view of the city. Nearing the top of the tower, I was feeling just a tad claustrophobic as the narrow, winding stairs could only accommodate one person going up or down. When we met people coming down as we were going up, there was no way I was going to back down, so we ended up squeezing by. It was a long climb to the top, but as the pictures show, it was well worth it. The view was spectacular. The weather, thus far, has been absolutely beautiful, so we hope it will continue this way as we anticipate our 100 mile walk.

 Many canal boats moored alongside the canal with the British flag flying proudly. This is a way of life for people here as they travel from place to place. 

 A marble statue of Apollo, the god of learning truth and music, from Rome about AD150. This composition is for the benefit of the granddaughters. 

 A quartzite statue of Amenhotep-Huy from Memphis, Egypt about 1390 BC. He looks pretty good for his age....... :)

 "View of the High Street, Oxford" by J.M.W. Turner, one of Britain's most famous painters. It was completed in 1810. 

 This tapestry in the Ashmolean Museum was absolutely incredible. It was commissioned in the 1600's depicting a map of Oxfordshire.

 Andrew outside our lunch venue. A very historic pub in the centre of Oxford.

If you click on the picture you can read this better, a sign located in "The Eagle and Child".

 This is the tower we climbed. We were standing just above the clock face.

The Radcliffe Camera as seen from the top of the tower. Note the bicycles parked all along the outside of the lawns.

 View from the top of the tower - looks like I'm hanging on for dear life, which I kind of am!!

 Andrew was trying out his panoramic feature on his new camera. It was an amazing view.

All Souls College, one of 38 colleges that make up Oxford University. 

 High Street with a double decker bus in the picture. The streets are full of busses and bicycles, and it seems the bicycles have the upper hand. The tower on the right is the Bell Tower of Magdalene College (where C.S. Lewis taught from 1925 to 1954).

 Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires".

 This is the narrow spiral staircase leading to the top of the tower. See Andrew's foot? Not much room to maneuver!

 One of many gargoyles that adorn the buildings in Oxford. This one looked a lot like the donkey in Shrek! 

 Another one for our grandchildren. He looks kind of angry!

 Cobblestone streets - there were a few of these around and not easy to walk on.

And, we had to try a box of British strawberries (variety, Malling Centenary). A lovely treat in the middle of the day, so sweet and delicious, definitely a taste of summer.

 I think I would call Oxford the city of bikes!!

 Ending our day with a stroll along the Thames River. This footpath took us indirectly back to our home away from home. The Thames is rather underwhelming at this location, about the size of the Cornwallis River in Kentville and not any cleaner.

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