Keble College Chapel

Hands down Keble College Chapel was the most impressive chapel of the Oxford Colleges we visited. We did not see all of the college chapels. I might have a few posts about the Keble Chapel in the near future. On our last full day in England, today Friday the 23rd of September, we checked out of our hotel in Woodstock, took a taxi to our lodging in Oxford and dumped our luggage there at 10:30 am. Their check in time is 4pm. This taxi ride was our favorite with a friendly driver who actually interacted with us. We walked and walked and walked some more. We went to the Museum of Natural History. We walked through University Park to the Cherwell where we saw a bench dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien, we visited the Balliol Chapel (the only thing open to visitors on the campus). We headed to our favorite pub in Oxford…home away from home, the Turf Tavern where we enjoyed a conversation with a mum and daughter from Canada. We walked toward Keble College and were happy that we could view the chapel for no charge. I took many photos in this amazing chapel. We were so happy that we took the time and that they were open to visitors on this day. We still had time to kill before we could check in so we walked to Little Clarendon Street to return to Gail’s Bakery for some evening treats for our hotel room. Back to our hotel and able to check in at 3:30. Happy for that since our feet had had enough of walking on uneven and cobbled streets. So happy to report we did not huff and puff on this trip. Our conditioning was good and it was just feet and knees that complained not our lungs or hearts! Woohoo!!

We are flying home tomorrow so no updates until possibly Monday. Cheers!

Sneak Peek to Blenheim

Today Thursday the 22nd of September and the first day of Autumn we walked our feet off. After our hotel breakfast at 7am we walked to a free entrance to Blenheim Palace grounds only to find out the paths we wanted to take were closed and restricted because of work being done with dredging in the lake. We walked around the restricted paths and found our way to the Harry Potter Tree which I will post about later. Back to town and showers and lunch and then back to Blenheim grounds for a ticket to tour the grounds. On Friday we are heading back to Oxford for our last night in the United Kingdom.

Tea for Two

On Wednesday we checked out of our apartment in Oxford and took a taxi to Woodstock to check into our hotel for  Wednesday and Thursday night. For curious minds the taxi was about 30 bucks. We could have taken a bus except with our luggage that would have been too taxing on us. We checked our luggage at the hotel and took a walk about the town. We had a nice lunch with a very jovial host at The King’s Arms where we met another U.S. family enjoying Woodstock. Later in the afternoon after getting the key to our room we had our first Afternoon Tea on at The Feathers Hotel in Woodstock. It’s interesting when our lodgings want you to check out by 10am and then your next lodging won’t want you to check in till 4PM. The hotel did let us check into our room at 2 instead of 4 since our room was ready. Our tea reservation was at 4:30. Afterwards we had a nice walk to the outskirts of town to catch a glimpse of Blenheim Palace.

Goodnight from Woodstock!

Oxford Colleges

Just a glimpse with so much more to come.

Magdalen College taken from Addison’s Walk.

On Tuesday September 20th we walked to a breakfast spot on George Street. We then headed to Christ Church College to make some purchases at the Gift shop. We also walked over to the Thames Valley Police Station to find the plaque on the wall to Inspector Morse. We tried with not a lot of success to make it into several colleges. We ended up with only two colleges open to us at the right time, Magdalen (pronounced Maudlin) and All Souls College.

Tomorrow we check out of our Airbnb and head to Woodstock for a couple of nights. Looking forward to a hotel stay with breakfast included.

A Sunday Roast

My postcard for today after the Queen’s funeral yesterday is my Sunday Lamb Roast from the Turf Tavern. Roasts typically are only offered on Sundays at Pubs and restaurants. The Turf had a choice of Beef, Lamb or Chicken. Dear picked the Lamb for me, delicious. Besides the meat portion you get veggies, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Dear opted for fish and chips instead of a Roast.

We spent the whole day yesterday watching the telly with absolutely no commercials or interruptions of the ceremony and processionals. We started watching at 7am up until the late afternoon with a quick break to run down for a quick fish and chips break. Wonderful coverage and commentary here.

Today, Tuesday, we will be out and about again trying to visit as many colleges as we can before we check out tomorrow at 10am and head to Woodstock for a couple of nights.

Quiet Today…

Today Monday September 19th should be a quieter day here because of the Queen’s funeral and it being a bank holiday here in the United Kingdom.

We stocked up on picnic supplies to enjoy in our apartment today during the funeral televised on the major channels here.

Grocery stores are closed today. Some of the other businesses will have open hours today. We are going to have an off day today just relaxing in our apartment, eating up what we have on hand. Curious as to what we purchased? Well let me tell you anyway. We have a beautiful loaf of Rosemary Sour Dough bread we purchased at the amazing Gail’s Bakery. We have a lovely Pear tartlet and Strawberry tart with custard we purchased at Paul Bakery. We have salami, cheese, olives & feta combo, avocado, grapes, tomatoes purchased at Sainsbury. We won’t starve.

Later I’ll share about the nice Sunday we had worshipping at a church service here in Oxford and our other Sunday experiences.

Self Guided Tour

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!

Evening Posting Oxford Time

Today, Tuesday 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.

Birthday Dinner on the ‘Coast’

Our kids on the coast planned a birthday dinner for their dad since we had to travel to that side of the state to fly out on Sunday. It was a lovely dinner and time together. I wanted to document it before Oxford takes over in my posts. Our kids on our side of the mountains had a delicious meal for Gramps on his day and we didn’t take a photo. Addy and JJ made cards for Gramps. All the kids went in on a very nice gift, too.

Off we go. We arrived and we are settling into our apartment for the next 9 days.

After we got settled we stepped out to find something for dinner. We passed the Wesley Memorial Methodist church. I’m always attracted to old substantial doors and doorways.

We enjoyed a traditional steak and ale pie and conversation with a couple from Finland and a young lady from Thailand.

Hopefully we’ll have a good nights sleep after being up for many hours and crossing too many time zones. Cheers!

Another Year

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.