Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Had an Inkling

Oxford day did not start well. We discovered that Tom's BritRail pass had gone MIA. That's bad news because he'll have to buy tickets for each leg of the journey now. We did get out and to the train station early as planned, and made all of our connections.
On arriving in Oxford, we stopped by our B&B early to see if we could leave our luggage. There we discovered that our room had been made unusable by a burst water pipe, so they put us in a standard twin room instead of ensuite double meaning, we have to share bathrooms with other people, but we don't have to share a bed with each other. Possibly a chance to catch up on much-needed sleep by not fighting over the covers.
We left town direction to visit Blenheim Palace - the ancestral home of Winston Churchill. This is a serious palace. Gilt and marble everywhere, vast, beautifully landscaped gardens and full of history.
We enjoyed the palace and, while given more time and my own inclination I would have explored the grounds, we headed back to town, after discovering that our return bus ticket, which had been in Tom's pocket (where the aforementioned BritRail pass had also been) was missing.
It has been decided that I'll be carrying tickets and such in my coat's pockets, which have zippers.
Back into town after paying another fare, and it's time for Oxford itself. I really didn't know much about the University or the Colleges or how they worked. After the city bus tour and the walking tour of several colleges (including two Harry Potter filming sites - the Great Hall, and where Malfoy was turned into a ferret by Barty Crouch polyjuiced into Mad-Eye Moody), I felt much better informed.
For dinner we went to The Eagle & Child, a pub. Why a pub? Because this pub was the favorite of a little group called the Inklings, which included among its members J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I ate in the same place they gathered to drink, eat and read bits and pieces of their writing together! The road does indeed go ever on and on, and sometimes it come back to the door where it began.
Tom is now snoring in the bed next to me, so I'll take that as a sign I should be sleeping as well.
Warwick Castle tomorrow.

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