Have you heard of the Radcliffe Camera? That's it, above! It was soooo cool, in Oxford, putting a visual to all these famous names, like the Sheldonian and Bodleian and Magdalen College and on, and on. And that was just in a few hours' worth of strolling. Holy CR**. OXFORD. It's jaw-dropping. My photos are uploading sooooo slowly on this wifi connection, so I can't put up pics to prove it, and anyway, pics don't do Oxford justice. It's the way you're just walking along and EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK there is an architectural wonder. The word for it is: ridiculous.
(the coolest of these pics are by Jim Di Bartolo :-)
We may have lost restraint when we discovered these Hungarian marionettes in an amaaaayzing book & stationery shop...
Oxford. We didn't even stay a night. We took the train from London, rented a car, went for a walk (that turned into something like six hours), then skedaddled out to more villagey destinations. But we'll be back. I can feel it.
Villagey destination the first: Woodstock, gateway to Blenheim Palace. We stayed here at the Macdonald Bear Hotel:
(Again, insufficiency of photos due to slow uploading! Imagine cuteness!!)
And, through the back door of that cuteness--literally, through a monumental stone gate, monumental like TRIUMPHAL, like an Arc de Triomph hidden in the back of a village, how crazy--out the back way through unassuming Woodstock lies...
Winston Churchill was born here, yo.
It, too, is ridiculous. (In the good way, the I-have-no-words-way.)
It was this extraordinarily windy day, which meant that rain clouds were scudding really fast across the sky, so it was: Rain! Incredible blue sky and sunshine! Rain! Incredible blue sky and sunshine! Repeat. All morning. We didn't experience the whole gardens, which are partly the work of Capability Brown ("England's Greatest Gardener") and include a massive hedge maze. I wonder if we'll ever return. With so much else in the world to see, who knows. It was spectacular though.
And we moved on from spectacular to more charmingness, at the tiny tiny tiny village of Minster Lovell, which has this walk up a lane of thatched cottages to a pretty church and, behind that, a ruined great estate, just open to exploration...
The river that runs through Minster Lovell is called the Windrush. Is that the most romantic river name EVER?
It was so cool. And I love those red flashes of Clementine darting around with her sword and shield. This was a magical day. A couple more of them, one hopes, before we leave England.
And for now, cheers!