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A taste of Worcester… August 1, 2010

Posted by Matthew Crane in Travel Log.
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So, it turns out that traveling around Europe was an incredible and unforgettable experience… that didn’t have much internet connection.  Rather than give all stale memories, I thought I’d kick of my first post with some nice fresh perspective on Oxford.  As the bus pulled through the town, we passed the famous Eagle and Child, where the inklings—including Tolkien and Lewis— would meet.  Awkwardly exiting the wrong side of the bus, we bid farewell to our excellent bus driver (really, he was an amazing and personable man) and walked through the gates of Oxford university.

The duck 5am-ritual island.

Apparently, a few administrative things occurred, but the only thought that remains in my memory was the incredible beauty of the campus.  Conveniently, my group stayed together in one fantastic building called Sainsbury, which meant that we could keep those friendships going just by shouting through a window.

Though Monet would die to paint it, its sure a great place to read a book.

However, I lucked out by getting a back yard that Monet himself would have been stunned painting.  I’ve shamelessly posted pictures below to make you all as jealous as possible.  Aside from the family of ducks that I can only imagine enjoy waking me up with some form of ritualistic honking at 5am, lily pads, a river, and ancient trees abound as far as the eye can see.  It is fantastic.

Perhaps, more than anything else, the age of the buildings and ground struck me.  Attending the chapel on campus means walking into the 13th century building.  Getting afternoon meal involves walking into the centuries-old vaulted room with long oak tables.  And, nobody around here looks twice.

After settling in, a few friends and I walked around Oxford, finding food at the tiniest pub, called Turf Tavern, back in the farthest corner of the most sinuous alley I’d ever walked.  Turns out the English got it right; the food is delicious.

Entering tangent zone, the food here really is lovely—as the English would say.  Meal time is a full event where you have your sitting at 5:30 in a Harry Potter-like hall.  Servers bring around the appetizer, and then the main course with family style side dishes.  After a long day of classes and wandering the English countryside, it is a fantastic regular forum to hear of adventures and share your own.

Exiting tangent zone, Oxford really is a wonderful town.  Its become a regular tradition to take a walk down the tourist filled Cornmarket Street.  However, the best parts of Oxford are down the smallest alleys you can find.  Anyhow, I’m off to class and exploring those sinuous alleys.

Till next time, Cheers!

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