Sunday, 22 May 2016

We Were All Up Early,

as we had trains and buses to catch,

Steve and Kai going to work, for us up to Victoria on the 06.56,

arriving at about 07.30 then over to the bus station to go to Oxford,

only to find that the bus does not leave from there, so out on to the road outside, to our bus parked there,

and we were the only customers on it, having said that a few more people got on as we made a few more stops out of London,

arriving in Oxford we were amused by this fish and chip shop model of a shark advertising their wares,

we arrived in Oxford,

it was a delight to see,

as were theses cakes, more of those later!

I will not for now describe which each building is,

there were,

so many,

stunning buildings to look at,

we made our way along streets, 

we did not know the name of,

one of the buildings we wanted to visit,

was the Bodleian,

one of the figures atop the entrance,

then we found,

we continued our walk,

to who knows where,

and where are ware we? I do not know!

with one of it's guardians looking on,

we made our way into the Central Square,

with collages and gardens either side,

there are no cars in Central Oxford, which leads to an even greater and more deadly menace in Oxford, bicycles, these roam the streets and pavements silently running down pedestrians at a far greater rate than noisy cars could ever do,

but there is some good news for pedestrians, leave a bicycle for too long and it disappears!

it was really cold when we were here,

so we called in to Cool Britannia,

so we could buy a hoodie to keep Diana warm, it was only £19.99,

outside in the window a 1960s scene,

tourists everywhere,

then to Flaggs,

that specializes in Harry Potter memorabilia,

we then walked past the the Saxon Tower of St. Michael Tower at the North Gate,

we looked along some side streets,

parked with bikes, with Bill's looking tempting,

inside we went,

and here we were,

a hot chocolate for Diana,

then our breakfasts arrived,

and big they were,

a look at the bar,

then we were off to our walk, it was then that we found a shop selling the same hoodie that we bought for £19.99 now £14.99, a few shops further along £13.99 then to rub salt into the wound 2 of the same hoodies for £25.00, if only we had waited and looked around!

past a few public houses amongst other old buildings,

like this one,

back to pubs,

then to old buildings,

we decided to take the slightly over 1 hour bus tour around the town,

which made sense as there was so much to see,

like the punts over the river,

with it's famous statue atop,

then psst Waterstones,

and a very famous hotel, 

The Randolph that any reader or watcher of Inspector Morse will know,

we past the coal canal that meant once it was completed cheaper coal could be brought to Oxford,

at the bus terminal we turned around, continuing our trip at the starting place we the went on foot,
and went past the Carfax Tower,

with the 'Quarter Boys' more of the tower later,

we retraced our steps on the bus,

arriving at the Randolph Hotel

in case you are wondering it is a bow tie, well we are in Oxford,

in the Randolph these two seats are permanently reserved, we are in the Morse bar, you never know when he will turn up,

the bar,

and the room,

a look at the drinks menu,

decision made,

served with some tit bits,

a second glass,

in case you did not know it,this is the home of The Inspector Morse Society,

next for us over the rod to the Ashmolean Museum,

we made our way inside,

first to money and hoards,

like this one from Didcot,

on to  more familiar currency,the pound,

and shove halfpenny, a game I have played many times in the mid 1950s,

we continued our walk,

then chanced upon this, the original clothes, sandals and rings worn by T. E. Lawrence, I have a copy of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, if you have the time give it a read,

we continued our walk,

past so many exhibits,

then something I recognized, the mantle of Powhatan, who was the father of Pocahontas,

having said mantle it appears that later scholars think it was a wall or tent decoration rather than a cloak to be worn,

the official caption,

we walked past more galleries,

with carved statues,

on both sides,

some beautiful,

some not so,

on to the Ancient Egypt section,

so much to see,

and appreciate,

with original pieces,

like this door jam of Senusret 1,

so many treasures,

and mummies to look at at, like this one from Djeddjehutyluefankh

also on display,

were so many finely carved and detailed,

servants for eternity, they were placed in tombs to do the manual work of their owners in the afterlife,

I have to say it again,

there was so much to see,

with case after case,

of treasures,

some so small like this one,

and others,

full size,

with intricate bindings like this,

but what lies beneath? using a series of CT scans the mummy of a young boy was scanned and drawn on 111 sheets of glass,

and this was what was inside,

not easy to photograph but easy to see in real life,

we left the Egyptian section,

and moved to Cyprus,


the wealth of exhibits,

was over whelming, so many,

classical designs we ares are so familiar with, this from the period 500-540 BC,

on to libations for the dead, no not for drinking, but for expensive oils,

as offerings to the dead, but even in those days it was important to save a few coins, many of them had false bottoms, as they did not contain as much oil as it appeared,

as time was pressing,

we looked quickly,

at some of the many,

other exhibits,

theses from the Coptic church,

we made our way,

through the Indian section,

if you come to Oxford you need more than a day just for this one museum!

outside we passed the monument to the three Protestant Martyrs,

Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer who were burnt to death here in 1555,
we made our way back to the Carfax Tower,

my knees are not so good, a problem I have had for many years,

bit not a problem for Diana,

whilst 39 steps would be no problem for myself,

the 99 steps,

in the tower might give me a problem,

so I waited downstairs,

whilst Diana went to the top,

arriving there,
this was the view she had,

views over Oxford,

the weather vein,

and the streets below,

not to mention the colleges,

now the way down,

all 99 stone steps,

and some metal ones at the bottom,

a screen shot from the information screen,

and one of the signs of the history of the tower,

by now we were famished, so what better than an afternoon cream tea?

and this is where we went, the tea rooms Diana was looking into earlier, the Patisserie Valerie,

and here our afternoon tea was,

so much of it,

from both sides of the table,

three tires of delights,
off for another walk,

we made a move for the garden,

but we were too late,

the ticket office had closed,

we had a look at a few punters,

who were making,

a total hash of it, note to future punters, just touch the mud at the bottom of the river, if you push too hard the pole will dig into the mud and stick there, so you will A, leave the pole where it is and have a unguided punt, or B, hang on to the pole and fall in!

not many punters today,

on to plan B, 

a quick walk to the Bodleian Library,

we made it!

oh no we did not,

the ticket office was closed, we had run out of time,

all we could do,

was look at the quadrangle,

and some of the,

inscriptions above it,

if only I could read Latin,

I could tell you what this means,

so a quick pose from Diana,

as we passed the reading room,

a last picture for Diana,

on to the coach for the trip, no prizes for guessing what I did on the way back to London!

next stop Victoria train station, then home, we watched a couple of movies, a few nightcaps and we were all off to bed.

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