some catch up on the last few days

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April 30th 2011
Published: April 29th 2011
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Went to Oxford today but it was closed – well half of the colleges were. The day started with the most pleasant walk, in fact the most pleasant experience eof the trip thus far. We stayed in Iffley just outside the city. A short walk from our hotel was the Iffley lock. Unlike others this lock was on the Thames. I’m still not sure i understand why it was needed but it was there. When we arrived we watched several of the local narrow barge boats go through. We then crossed over and spent 40 minutes walking along the Thames banks into Oxford. Ducks, ducklings, geese, goslings, rowers, scullers, paddlers, canoeists, punters; all were part of a cavalcade (i finally get to use that word in a journal) of scenery and movement which we experienced.

Oxford = university. It is a one industry town. And that industry is tourism. It was bank holiday and the tourists were everywhere. It’s a good thing that we are not run of the mill tourists. Otherwise we would merely be part of the massive throng trudging between colleges in the hope that THIS one would be open. We eventually did get into some and they were great, particularly Magdalene (pronounced maudlin’) and Christ Church. In each quadrangle students would chalk in their various wins over other colleges in the rowing. Did i mention that rowing is really big here?

All together we walked for about 8 hours straight, including the walk back along the Thames. A roast dinner at a nearby pub (we drove the 300 metres cause our legs were so sore) capped off a wonderful day.


Our B&B in Stratford was perfectly located 3 minutes from the town centre. Did i mention that tourism is really big over here? Oxford was sparsely populated by comparison. Now i’m not saying that business would exploit the Bard but the first business we saw on the day was called MUCH ADO ABOUT TOYS. It joined the Encore Inn and the Swan inn and the Arden Inn and scores of other Shakespeare themed businesses.

We had tickets to CARDENIO, billed as Shakespeare’s lost play. Apparently Shakespeare and Cervantes were historical contemporaries It was in the Swan Theatrre which is an homage to the Globe. it was really good. The girl who played Lucinda, Lucy Briggs-Owen was mesmerising. She is a star of the future.


Drive all day to Wales,on the way we stopped at IRON BRIDGE. IB is the world’s first iron bridge built over the Severn. it is a testament to the ingenuity of eighteenth century technological advancement. Abraham darby had developed a new process for smelting iron ore using coke. It transformed the industry and eventually led to the development of steel.

Porthmadoc. We are in a lovely B&B in Borth Y Gest. Our host Margaret is wonderful. We ate a very ordinary meal at a local pub.


Two hour trip along the Llangollen canal over the UK’s highest aqueduct. Was such an enjoyable 2 hours. Interesting that the canals in UK were all constructed in less than 100 years by hand and explosives and were made redundant (almost) by the railway within another 100 years.


Magical day. Mt Snowdon 1085 metres high. 360˚ views of northern Wales. Most beautiful and breathtaking views. Then it was on to Port Mieron, scene of the 1960s cult series THE PRISONER. starting to look tired and shabby.

Wonderful and fulfilling day.


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