Lot of walking again today with a walking tour book I bought for Oxford. Walked into the Jericho area of Oxford and along the canal. Visited a church, a cemetery. We wanted Fish and Chips and found out several pubs were out of fish and chips! The Lamb and Flag was closed due to refurbishing. The Eagle and Child has been closed for over 2 years now. Both of these pubs have history with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Today is open day in Oxford for prospective Freshmen and the town was buzzing with parents and students checking out the colleges, and eating all the fish and chips! We finally dropped off our bag of goodies we bought along the way to the apartment and headed to The Turf Tavern again and they had Fish and Chips. This is fast becoming our favorite and go to establishment. Mission accomplished, back to the apartment with our feet up!
We had a wonderful tour of 5 villages in the Cotswolds today with a great small touring company called Go Cotswolds.
Met some nice people and saw some very quaint villages. Our walk to the railway station was short and we met some kindred spirits that were on our tour before we were picked up by our tour company. More about our tour when we get home and do a day by day recap.
In many store windows in Oxford and in chapels of the Oxford colleges and other churches there are tributes like these to the beloved Queen Elizabeth II.
On Wednesday afternoon we watched the processional from Buckingham Palace to the Westminster Hall from our apartment in Oxford. Many businesses are short staffed this day so we are enjoying food in our apartment. We overdid it on Tuesday so we scaled back on our activities and stayed in to watch.
Lying in State now as her people file past to honor her.
Christ Church College Dining Hall. Inspiration for Hogwart’s Dining Hall. More from Harry Potter at this college in Oxford to come. Alice in Wonderland was inspired at this college, too.
Today was an easier walking day. We spent part of the afternoon watching the live coverage of the Queen’s journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. So moving. Still adjusting to this time zone. It seems to be harder now that we are older.
Tomorrow is our day tour in the Cotswolds.
October, oops September13th! was a full day on our feet. It’s almost 7PM here and almost 11AM at home. (Thank you, Vera, I was really tired when I posted this.
A Full English Breakfast, The Covered Market, The Bodlein 1 hour tour, Grocery shopping and more. As it happens the tour we signed up for in the afternoon turned out to be a private tour since no one else signed up. We ended at the Turf Tavern and are now at our apartment falling asleep as we watch the evening news here in Oxford.
Good night from Oxford. Hope you all have a good day.
We grieve with Great Britain at the passing of beloved Queen Elizabeth II on her death yesterday. Shedding tears here. It was her appointed time dying at Balmoral, a place that seemed to bring her lots of comfort. We have no idea how the grieving period in Great Britain will impact our trip this coming week but our time will be historic.
Today is Dear’s 69th birthday. We will be celebrating his last year in his 60’s tonight and tomorrow, too. All these photos I’m sharing today are from 2006 when he was in his 50’s. We recently copied the photos from a disc from our trip with friends on what we called a Walking Tour of Great Britain. We were in Conwy Wales, The Lake District, Oban, Edinburgh and York from May 2nd until the 12th, 2006.
We flew into Manchester. There were six of us on this trip. We rented a vehicle and headed to Conwy, Wales.
The view from our bedroom at our Bed and Breakfast in Conwy.
The 2nd day in Wales we attempted to climb Mt. Snowden.
Still smiling at the beginning of the hike. It really was a difficult ascent and much more difficult descent because of the slipping steep shale path. Jan and I made it 2.6 miles and we decided to turn around and head back. The other 3 troopers carried on for another mile but had to turn back because of the high wind. It was windy enough to move our bodies. In total 5.2 miles for Ellen and Jan, 7.2 miles for Bob, Dear, and Jody. We were sore and our knees suffered for the rest of our trip.
The very bright side to this day was our dinner at Bistro Conwy. One of the best meals we’ve ever enjoyed at a restaurant. Leek soup w/potato and bacon, Casaba salad with melon-strawberries-kiwi-with a raspberry sorbet sauce-mushroom tartlets-lamb shoulder in reduction with potatoes and vegetables. Sticky toffee pudding with chocolate sauce for dessert.
From Wales we traveled to the Lake District and stayed on a working farm. We had a few Derwent River walks.
While Bob, Jan and Jody scaled this path to the top of Cats Bells, Dear’s knees stopped here on this grassy knoll and we made our way back to our Farmhouse B&B.
From the Lake District we traveled to Oban, Scotland.
From Oban we took a ferry to the Isle of Mull and traveled across the island to catch a ferry to the little island of Iona.
From Oban we traveled to Edinburgh.
In Edinburgh we visited Elephant House with ties to the writing of the Harry Potter books.
Our last stop was York and we enjoyed our favorite Sticky Toffee Pudding here.
We won’t be enjoying Sticky Toffee Pudding today but hopefully within a weeks time we will.
Dating from 1242 The Bear is the oldest Pub in Oxford. It was fun to see it featured in the latest season of “The Amazing Race”. There is another pub in Oxford that also claims to be the oldest. I’ll let them duke it out.
The Bear is home to a rather impressive yet random collection of neckties. Visitors from around the globe have contributed to the collection. They are displayed in a room off the main entrance and you can see that the display continues onto the ceiling.
I was stumped to come up with an offering for the letter N until I remembered this pub that we stopped into after a long day of walking and sight seeing in Oxford in July of 2014. It has very low ceilings and a very narrow steep staircase to the toilets. I can’t imagine someone having a few too many going up and worse coming down those steep steps.
Back to the present: This time around we probably won’t visit The Bear. There are plenty of noteworthy pubs we’ll visit instead, especially the ones that Morse and Inspector Lewis visited during their Murder Mysteries series.
St Mary’s stands in the physical centre of the old walled City, and the university grew up around it. In medieval times scholars lived in houses with their teachers and the university had no buildings of its own, so it adopted St Mary’s as its centre. The church continued as a parish church, but by the early 13th century it had become the seat of university government, academic disputation, and the awarding of degrees.
The Oxford Martyrs ~Each of the three anglican bishops, Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer, who were burnt at the stake in Oxford during the reign of the Roman Catholic queen, ‘Bloody Mary’, underwent part of his trial in St Mary’s. Their principal crime was not to believe the doctrine of transsubstantiation, although Cranmer, as Henry VIII’s Archbishop, had also played a crucial role in the downfall of Queen Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon.
John Wesley, founder of Methodism, often attended the University Sermon in his Oxford days, and subsequently, as a Fellow of Lincoln College, preached some of his most stirring sermons before the University here – notably the famous sermon the ‘Almost Christian’ in 1741. In 1744, again in St Mary’s, he denounced the laxity and sloth of the senior members of the University. He was never asked to preach here again. ‘I have preached, I suppose,’ I wrote, ‘the last time in St Mary’s. Be it so. I am now clear of the blood of these men. I have fully delivered my soul.’
For our daughter Katie’s high school graduation, Dear and I took her to Great Britain in April of 2004. Katie is a reader, a learner, a writer, a poet and an artist. We asked her what she’d want to see and she came up with the brilliant idea of following some of her favorite authors and characters around the Isle! This is a photo log of our trip that we can highly recommend to all lovers of Hobbits, Inklings, Literary Giants, 19th Century England, Harry Potter, and wacky Holy Grail enthusiasts! For my flashbacks I’m going to cover less ground in each post. This first post will be our Oxford experience with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien on our radar. The photos on this trip were taken the old fashioned way with a camera that was still using film!
The Eagle and Child (The Bird and Baby) Oxford
We set out from our first B & B base in Cheltenham to tour Oxford. We were still getting over our jet lag just arriving the day before. We found a park and ride outside of Oxford and rode a bus into town. Our first stop was The Eagle and Child (The Bird and the Baby) where the Inklings would meet and discuss their current writings, thoughts, etc.
The pictures on the wall are of C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and other Inklings, plus letters, etc. We had a bite to eat and a pint was raised to toast our respected authors! “It comes in pints?”
Dear and Katie on Addison’s Walk. This walkway is on the grounds of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) where Tolkien and Lewis would walk and have long conversations, after which C. S. Lewis converted to Christianity. We found it, walked it and reflected on the beauty and wonder of it all!
This next photo shows a spot on the walkway that we took a photo from different directions in 2004 and in 2014.
And here’s one of the beautiful courtyards that we took photos of both of these years.
We saw the iconic phone booth on the grounds of Magdalen, too.
Walking from Magdalen College back to the center of town we saw other familiar sites, too.
The Bridge of Sighs
In 2004 when we came across Logic Lane Katie insisted that we take a photo of her dad under the sign. In 2014 we came upon Logic Lane again so I had to take another photo.
We walked about to find this address where Tolkien lived at 21 Merton St. after his wife died in 1971.
Katie would not let us leave Oxford till we found Tolkien’s grave. This was no small feat! Here we are at Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford at the graveside where he and his wife are buried. His son is buried here, also. Katie left a note in Elvish, (yes, she learned to write and speak Tolkien’s Elvish).
EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
1889 – 1971
1892 – 1973
Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford
We headed back to our B & B in Cheltenham to rest up for our next days adventure around the Cotswolds in search of Hobbits.
The thing about film photography is that we didn’t know if the photos we took even turned out well till we were home and had the film developed. Aren’t you happy we have digital cameras now? You can see if you chopped someone’s head off or missed the top of a beautiful cathedral etc. These photos that I took with film in 2004 were scanned and uploaded onto my computer and in a lot of cases lightened up and sharpened and sometimes cropped.
Now we await our time in Oxford in 2022. We still do not cling too tightly to this trip as we know anything can change on the world landscape in a day. Trusting God if we go or if we can’t go.
The 15th Century Cloisters construction commenced in 1474 which makes this medieval square of stone among the oldest parts of Magdalen.
Balancing on the buttresses that jut from the Cloister walls are the figures later known as ‘hieroglyphics’, the ‘GARGELS”, Magdalen’s very own gargoyles. Some are biblical, some heraldic, all symbolic. Since they entered the College in 1508-9 they have been keeping their emblematic eyes on the comings and goings in the Cloisters and the quad.
From the Cloisters we headed out to Addison’s walk and the New Building following the footsteps of Tolkien and Lewis along one of the paths that leads to the famous meetings of the “Inklings”.
Back to the present day Saturday August 6, 2022. This evening we are hosting a raclette meal for 6 in our home. We offered the meal as an auction item for our Church Missionary fundraiser back in May. Hopefully I’ll remember to take photos of the event.