Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oxford Day 2: More Photos

Scenes from another day of knocking around lovely Oxford, England (although the pics from tonight's dinner at the Eagle and Child pub, aka the ones not yet taken, will have to come in a separate post):

The Dead Man's Walk and the Merton College library (the impressive gothicky bit on the left). The Dead Man's Walk is the medieval funeral walk winding around Christ Church Meadow behind Merton Street, and strangely enough, we did have a little incident with the map that made us wonder if a) both of us had severe temporary amnesia, b) we are a pair of ignoramuses, or c) there was a ghost having a bit of fun with us.

The gate into the Dead Man's Walk, with the paved road beyond being Rose Lane, and the dirt bit being the start of the walk. The gate looks like it's closed, but on the left there is a narrow winding way through the spires.

Gillian at one of the library gates along the Walk.

The Merton College library.

The Dead Man's Walk. While we were going down it, the wind was blowing and we heard all kinds of bells ringing in the distance. It was great. Now imagine that at night, lit only by candles, in a solemn procession. Spooky, huh?

A very atmospheric shot -- gnarled trees and the spire of Merton College Chapel in the background.

A shot into the Merton College gardens.

Looking back toward Merton from the far end of the Walk.

A view through a gate toward Christ Church.

Gillian in front of said gate.

Me in front of said gate.

You might think this would be a mighty impressive front quad to some college. Well, there you would be mistaken. This is not a front quad. It is instead the BACK entrance to Christ Church, which is probably the biggest (in terms of size) and one of the most beautiful colleges in Oxford. Coincidentally, also one of the snobbiest. But Gillian went up to investigate, saw that it was two pound ninety to get in, and wondered if we could look around anyway. I solved this problem by flashing my Bod (Oxford ID, short for Bodleian) card at the porters, who waved us through right away. This is what happened in Balliol, so lesson learned: Bod card=useful.

The back quad of Christ Church, from the other side.

Me at Christ Church. I swear I was smiling, but somehow the photo did not get taken while this was occurring. Maybe it was the ghost-induced amnesia again.

The Christ Church cloisters.

Yes, this is the BACK courtyard of Christ Church.

Gillian in the front quad of Christ Church, in front of the iconic tower. I have taken some pictures of Christ Church before, but this lot turned out a bit clearer.

Christ Church Cathedral. This place blows everywhere else, even Exeter, completely out of the water. It is amazing.

The altar at Christ Church, again a picture I took before, but this one turned out better.

The plaque for the First World War memorial, , which is a lovely illuminated, hand-calligraphed book. Pretty cool.

The pages of the World War I book.

The WWI plaque.

The heading for the Second World War memorial, which is also a book.

Here is the front page.

The walk outside Christ Church. Please ignore the dumpsters to the left.

The view out of the window of the little street cafe where we had lunch. That's Christ Church in the background.

Slightly further up Rose Place.

Brewer Street. I love the ivy wall and the Narnia-esque streetlamp.

Gillian among the ivy. Appropriate, seeing as she goes to an Ivy league school! Yar yar yar yar.

Me on Brewer Street. Hey look, I'm smiling.

Gillian checking out the gravestones at the St. Aldates Church. We were heading up to the Ashmolean and stopped to watch a street performer dancing at the corner of Cornmarket. He was beatboxing, and was quite good. Gillian gave him a little something for his efforts.

The entrance to the Ashmolean Museum.

The statue of Athena in the Ashmolean, dates from the 2nd century.

Model boats from Ancient Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian pottery.

A Stradivarius violin. One of the many single items in the Ashmolean that are worth more than my entire house.

17th-century porcelain.

A display of pocket watches.

One of the coolest items in the Ashmolean - the mantle of Powhatan, Pocahontas's father, taken from Jamestown in the early 1600s.

Possibly my favorite -- this is the Alfred Jewel, dating from the 9th-century rule of the Saxon king Alfred the Great, and found in 1693 as part of the excavation of a burial mound. The Old English inscription around the edges reads, "Alfred ordered me made."

The foyer of the Ashmolean at the top of the stairs.

All right, that covers today. A smaller edition will cover the pub, and then there will be plenty of pictures from London on Monday.


Darcy said...

I miss you girls! Can't wait to talk to you on Sunday! Can I come too over the spring?

Russ said...

Those are great pictures of Great War memorials. Thanks!

Christine said...

Those photos are amazing!
Oxford is great :)