Yesterday and today...

Yesterday, I spent a relatively quiet day on campus (and a good thing, too, as there was some drama around 4:00 a.m....but I won't get into that online...ask me when I get back). In the morning, I managed to get a card to the Bodleian (yea!) and validate my rail pass. Then, I spent the afternoon reading and drinking coffee. I wanted to rest up in preparation for the next few days.

Today: THE ALICE IN WONDERLAND/WIND IN THE WILLOWS/ETC. WALK (commonly known as the "Alice Walk").

We left college at 11:45 a.m. and just returned at 5:15 p.m. Very long walk, but totally worth it! We walked along the canal and the Thames, stopping to read poetry that relates to certain spots along the way. Here are some photos:

Longboats along the canal (just like the gyptians use in The Golden Compass):


Scenes along the Thames (note: this would have been the same route Dodgson took when he brought the real Alice and her sisters up the Thames and came up with Alice in Wonderland....):




The meadow is public grazing land (donated long ago by King Alfred), so horses and cattle roam freely...




A photo of Allen and I walking to the church:



Here is the church we ended up at...where the St. Frideswide miracle took place (she used water from a well in a following photo and cured a man of blindness...other miracles, too). Also, the real Alice's governess lived in a house next door to this church...






Me...down in the treacle well. This is the well where the miracle water is...Also, Dodgson, when he wrote Alice in Wonderland, used the well as the treacle well. Treacle used to mean "healing," but he played on the modern meaning of molasses!


Me sitting in the tree seat in the graveyard at the church...



After the church, we went backwards and ended up at a famous pub called The Perch. It has burned down a couple of times and only just recently reopened (thatch roofs will do that to you)...



The pub was great. Then, we wandered down a path towards the abbey ruins (again, Dodgson ended up here with the little girls)...






Meredith (one of the students) and I posing inside the ruins (note all of the trash on the ground...people are pigs):



After the abbey, we ended up at another pub...The Trout! I paid way too much for a very weak drink...


Then, we headed out on our most difficult portion of the journey: the trek across Port Meadow...but not before the sweetest dog (other than Casey, of course) met us:


Port Meadow has been settled since the bronze age; and, if you are in a hot-air balloon or something, you can still see the outline of the settlements. King Alfred gave this land to the people for grazing...a long, long, LONG time ago!...


It is deceptively beautiful...we lucked out with the weather, but this place can become a bog. The Alice Walk has been known to end up with the participants up to their waist in mud. Also, note to self: BEWARE COW PIES...


And, finally, for the last photo: Dr. Halli's favorite moment...reading the funeral scene from the end of Beowulf...on top of an ancient burial mound!...

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