a whirlwind Oxford tour
We got into Oxford about 8pm. Richard had moved out of his college room
into a college share house, but his old room wasn't being used yet and he
still had a key, so he put us in there. After we'd organised ourselves,
he took us on a night tour of Merton college and we had dinner in a
Thai restaraunt. The waitress wouldn't take our Scottish pound notes
at first, thinking they were Euros!
By the time we'd packed everything for the flight home, it was nearly 1am.
Sunday September 21st
Richard took us on a proper tour, starting with a walk down the Cherwell
to the Isis, with its boatsheds and swans. Christchurch was closed,
but we climbed Carfax tower, looked around Merton chapel, and checked
out a few bookshops: Unsworth Books, and Blackwells of course.
We had brunch in the pub where the Inklings - most famously,
J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis - used to meet. (One surprise was that
there was no fuss made about all the sites associated with Tolkien: given
the huge profile of Lord of the Rings resulting from the films, I had
half-expected an unending stream of tourists on special "Tolkien tours".)
The Bodleian library was shut, but we fitted in a good visit to the
Ashmolean, where I concentrated on the ceramics and Chinese painting.
A hot walk took us out to Freud's Cafe, in an old church, for drinks.
We said goodbye to Richard and, after some repacking outside Mansfield
college, headed off around 6pm. We stopped briefly in Windsor, to look
at the outside of the castle and have a bite to eat, then continued to
Heathrow via backroads (Horton). After a bit of driving around in the
dark we found the car hire depot, they took the car and drove us to the
airport - where I bought a copy of Linda Colley's Captives - and we were soon on our way back to Sydney.
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