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World Trip Two

Thursday, July 23 2009: Prestatyn to Oxford, England

Our hotel in Oxford.

After many train changes and four hours we landed safely in Oxford. I must say that even though we had to change trains several times the trip was very pleasant. Julia and I continued our Gin Rummy battle which has been raging across the world since we left home on March 31.

Julia will deny it, but I am in the lead. We are staying in a very nice hotel which is right in the center of town. This is our present to ourselves for all the hard work we put in, in Wales.

Julia moved to Oxford when she was 17 years old, so she does know the place in a way that has been tempered with time. But she did remember a restaurant walking distance from the hotel and it was still there. We enjoyed some really good food and wine and Julia was flooded with memories of her first years away from home.

Friday, July 24 2009: Oxford, England

You have to always watch out for dinosaurs.

This was a day of sightseeing and visiting museums. I had no idea how ancient the architecture is in Oxford; so many interesting old buildings. Every time you turn a corner you have to pull out the camera. Our first museum for the day was the Pitt Rivers. This is a really unique museum.

Part of the space is dedicated to very accessible natural history displays; such things as dinosaur skeleton replicas and 4 billion year old rocks. But everything is very open and well explained. The other part of the museum is a collection of things pilfered by British explorers over many hundreds of years of exploration. The items range from shrunken heads to Stone Age fire starting devices. I have never seen a collection like it before.

Many old buildings.

We then went to the Museum of the History of Science. It consisted of a reasonable collection of scientific instruments over the ages. What struck me while looking at these instruments is how they started with a focus on light and ended with radio. What they did not know is that they were the same thing just at different wavelengths. We started with light manipulating instruments as we have eyes evolved to see at this wavelength.

It was not until our minds and knowledge had developed that we were able to manipulate and understand radio.

The evening ended with a visit to the picture theater to see the new movie Public Enemies. Julia was really drawn to this movie as it starred Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, two of her major heart throbs. It was a good movie.

Saturday, July 25 2009: Oxford, England

When Julia first came to Oxford at sweet 17 years of age her best friend at nursing school was Tracey. So it made Julia really very happy to see Tracey again and meet her fiancé Mark today. We all met at our hotel and then wandered off through the very busy Saturday morning streets of Oxford to a pub, well located right next to the Thames.

Old friends and new embrace.

Believe it, or believe it not, the sun was out in full force and it was even hot in Oxford. We chatted and laughed, I learnt some new things about Julia's scandalous past, all while watching people embarrass themselves as they tried to punt down the river. I am so happy to have met Tracey and Mark and look forward to attending their wedding in August next year if we can.

Enjoying some really good food from a really good English chef.

Jamie Oliver is a terrific English cook (I know it sounds like an oxymoron), whose food Julia and I both love. So it was fantastic for us to end our last evening in Oxford by enjoying dinner at Jamie's Italian restaurant. We were not disappointed as the food in his restaurant is just a nice as made by Julia at home from his cook books. I like Oxford.

Trip stats

Miles Flown: 22,236

Miles Hiked: 366

Miles Skied: 2

Miles Driven: 6,001

Miles Sailed: 110

Miles Trained: 180

Miles Bused: 338


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