"Keep out of my way, people!"; Or, How to run to the top of St. Mary's tower in under three minutes.

I will get to the title post in a minute...

Anyway, yesterday, it rained and rained and rained. In the morning it wasn't raining and I went on a really cool tour of the Bodleian, going through the Radcliffe Camera and the underground stacks.

Side note: Actually, today, I am going to Duke Humphrey's Library to read. Here is a really quick video (I don't know who did it, but you aren't supposed to video or take photos!):



Then, I ate lunch at Edamame, again. It was fantastic. I got soaked walking back. Later in the afternoon, Allen and I went to the famous Eagle and Child pub for coffee. Here I am at the famous C.S. Lewis and crew table:



We got back around 6:30 and dressed for dinner with the Provost. It was wonderful. His house is here at Worcester, of course, and it was completed in 1776. He is a charming man and makes everyone feel quite welcome. It was all very formal and beautiful. We had drinks for half an hour and then dinner at a beautiful table, surrounded by gorgeous paintings. The meal was fantastic. All in all, it made the day nice again!

Now, to this post:

Today, I decided that I wanted to do my absolute most favorite thing to do in Oxford: climb St. Mary's tower. St. Mary's is the university church and is VERY old. The tower is very high and difficult to climb. This video (not made by me, obviously) shows a bit:



The passages are narrow and the standing room at the top is even more closed in...so, you want to make sure that you don't go on a crowded day because only one person can climb down the spiral medieval steps. Last year, it wasn't too bad; but there were still lots of people around. So, I got there 10 minutes before opening time this morning (beautiful morning). On the way, I passed through empty little streets...I love it...



(no one outside of St. Mary's...the entrance is in Radcliffe Square...)


Everything was fine until I noticed a group coming. So, as soon as the doors opened, I payed my 3 pounds (already had it ready) and ran (literally) to the top. I made it in under 3 minutes just to avoid the crowd. I thought my chest was going to explode when I made it to the top. You have to understand how complicated this can be! There are passages and narrow staircases and the final challenge is a medieval spiral staircase with teeny tiny steps--and only a rope to hold on to as you go up and come down! But, it was totally worth it because I had 15 minutes all by myself!

My favorite area is the final side of the tower. I call it that because you can only go one way around and then it is blocked....




My camera died right after this photo was taken...but, I lit a candle in the church and, suddenly, it allowed me to take about 10 more photos inside of the church. There wasn't any battery energy left (I had tried to use it, but the screen just kept going black.) I don't know...I am just saying that it was a very good thing to light the candle...

So, here is my candle (the one on the right):



Again, this is my absolute favorite site in Oxford. I don't know why, except that there is an imaginative energy to it. It is also very important historically, but I will let you read about that here:

http://www.university-church.ox.ac.uk/info/history.htm.

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