Sunday, July 01, 2012

European Extravaganza - Part II a - Oxford

After the whole bus breaking down incident, I finally made it into Oxford in time for Friday night dinner with Karen.  Thought we didn't go to the Head of the River pub, pictured below.  Instead we went to Nando's to eat some Afro-Portuguese chicken and to catch up on life.  And then we had some ice cream at George and Danver.

We went for an English breakfast the next morning at Tick Tock Cafe.

I put 'brown sauce' on my breakfast sandwich.  I guess that's a thing?  Just like 'salad cream.'

It was Summer Eights week at Oxford, so down to the river we went to watch some boats and bumps.  We had a bit of a walk down to the racing area.  It was an amazing sunny, quite hot, day.  And it's such a pretty place.  Just look at these green fields!

Some punting going on.

At the boats! Each college had a team rowing and their own little party space.  It was quite the scene.

We decided to cross the river via the shuttle these guys were running.  It was free, but accepting donations.  We gave them three pounds.  They said they wished it was a little more.  Uh....

We went to the top of the river where the races started so we could see some 'bumping.'  I really didn't have a clue what this meant, but I was going to find out.  Sadly, it doesn't mean bumper boats and running into each other, though that happened a couple times.  It just means passing the team who is ranked above you.  Once you pass them, you stop racing and get out of the way for the boats behind you.

Except when you don't get out of the way fast enough, and another boat comes up behind you and the coxswain gets clubbed in the head with a paddle.

I sat down on the side of the river and quickly got myself into some stinging nettle.  Not fun.  My hand was numb for a day. 

Pretty soon we got a message from Becca that she was arriving in Oxford.  We left the Thames to go meet her, then set out again exploring Oxford.

Radcliffe Camera

Entrance to the Bodleian Library

Karen took us into the Oxford Union.  Apparently we were supposed to pay for a tour, even though she's a student.  Whatever.

Recognize someone in that photo?

For dinner, Karen took us to The Trout, a lovely little pub up the way.  We walked a couple miles through a meadow to get there.  Doesn't that sound lovely?  It was.

And there's The Trout Inn.  It was packed.  We had no reservation, no table and we'd just walked 3 miles.  Luckily we stalked a table in the bar area that was about to leave.

A typical English pub meal.

They gave me the wrong dish, but I ate it anyway.

We took a cab back to the center of Oxford and walked home from there.  I know it looks lame and that we're headed home at 7pm, but really it was almost 11pm!  Crazy sun there.

Some chocolate sampling to end the night and to help us prepare for our next preppy sport - polo coming up!

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