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The traveler: An expected journey This time it's the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden & Norway before England again for several weeks and on to Croatia.

Near Blenheim Palace

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 5 September 2015 | Views [149] | Comments [1]

Back on the train again I traveled north for only the second time in almost 2 months to see someone I'd met before. Not far from Blenheim Palace I spent another 2 wonderful days with my previous hostess from Pembrokeshire.
That evening we went for a stroll around the palace grounds with picturesque views of of the bridge, water, landscape, and palace itself, all designed to impress. Of course this place is best known as Winston Churchill's home. My hostess told me that in WW2 Hitler gave orders not to bomb it because he intended to live there when he took over Britain. I don't know if Churchill ever heard this, but I think he would've found the idea amusing, at least when Britain was sure to win.
I enjoyed the walk in the grounds very much, but I didn't have a strong desire to tour yet another grand house. Perhaps it's because by the time you pay so much for a ticket (about $35 in this case) you feel you must make the most of it, and see every possible thing there is to see. This makes for a rather tiring day, and doesn't leave room for much else.
On the short walk from the grounds back to the car we paused to listen to the live music being played in the center of the village. There were people milling around, children playing, and different artists playing on the 2 occasions we passed by. The village itself, though not the same as Painswick, was such a joy to walk through. Its name is one that will be familiar to all of you. I'm guessing though that the English village of Woodstock was the precursor to the American one.
How wonderful it was that evening to have a dinner almost entirely made up of fresh produce from the garden behind the lovely little cottage where my hostess lives while working. Going out to pick the green beans was a wonderful reminder of going out to our garden for lettuce, carrots or peas, or to one of the lovely evenings down at the farm stand.
The next day was another one of those somewhat wet ones, so my hostess took me to Oxford where we meandered up and down some of the streets, and past many colleges. The colleges here though are not what we'd mean when we refer to "college". Rather they are more like (luxury) dorms, with their own facilities, and usually their own chapels. Apparently this came from the time of Henry the 8th, who despite his fame for his many marriages also invested in the idea of education.
Along the road there were also several performers, just like you'd find out on a stroll down the Pearl St. Mall. One of them was a teenage girl doing one-handed handstands, and the most beautifully controlled pike up to straddle press handstands. What strength that takes!
Since we were out we stopped for lunch at one of the restaurants in Oxford. I have to say it makes a nice change to have a conversation with someone while waiting at the table. As my time in Britain was drawing to a close I joined my friend in ordering "fish and chips", which I'd realized I'd really not had much of. The food was very well done, and of course presented beautifully too.
On my last morning we went for a walk by the fields near the cottage before circling back through another perfect stone village.
What is much harder to describe are the many thoughtful and engaging conversations we had, and which really made it such a joy to spend more time with my hostess here.




sounds really fun. so glad you are also meeting people, making friends, and having great conversations! I imagine that is what you will remember most when you look back at this adventure. xoxo

  lori janssen Sep 12, 2015 3:29 AM

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