#2 England, May 7, 1980
We drove the short distance to Windsor to see the castle, and the changing of the guard. The castle was imposing. During the changing of the guard, I happened to be looking the other way, when the company of guards were marching down the street with me caught in the middle of them all.
I escaped and took some photos. St. George’s chapel, which
we toured, was spectacular.
On we went to Oxford, that wonderful place of learning and beautiful colleges.
We first encountered the Sheldonian Theater, the first
major work of Christopher Wren, followed by All Soul’s College, one of the most beautiful.
Oxford has 39 colleges, the oldest of which goes back about 700 years. There are many traditions at Oxford, and it took until 1877 for lecturers to be allowed to marry. The first female students were admitted in 1878, but none were granted degrees until 1920—-the same year that women were granted the vote in the USA. Jeanne and Gisela discovered another item of sexism—when they went to a public toilet, they had to give up on their plan since they didn’t have the correct coins to insert that would open the doors. Burt reported that men had no such problems in their toilet—his proclamation was that “Men pee free in Oxford!”
We moved on to Buford where we stayed overnight in a wonderful B&B which was overlooking the Windrush River. The wind really blew that night and it was pretty cold, but the atmospheric rural B&B was spectacular.
That evening, on the recommendation of our hosts, we had dinner at the Maytime Inn, a
most wonderful place with spectacular food. The dessert was amazing lemon meringue pie, smothered with heavy cream! I’ll never forget it!
The next morning we checked out after a lovely breakfast with the family, and did a little sightseeing around Burford.
Burford is a small town with a long history and beautiful buildings.
We also visited a an interesting church nearby at Swinbrooke.
We saw the local White Horse, a chalk drawing on a nearby hill, which was over 3000
Moving on, on a cold, windy day, we saw the Stones of Avebury, a prehistoric 2500 BCE circle of stones.
The rural areas which we drove through surprised me when I saw the thatched-roofed
houses. They reminded me of old song books with girls with muffs and long skirts, long-nosed dogs (which I also saw) and the thatched roofs. I had no idea that I would actually see these things.
Next on our drive was Bath, that Roman site, still extant, with warm natural baths. We also saw Morris dancers walking about, having just performed a dance before we got there.
We stopped at Longleet House—-one of the many manor houses that are huge and out of date.
We continued on to Stonehenge, that old (3000 BCE) stone circle from prehistoric times.
Again, the rural areas with “the sheep in the meadow, the cows in the corn” were beautiful.
Our next destination was Salisbury. We stayed at a thatched-roofed B&B which was
unique! The proprietess said her dog had just had 11 puppies, which she was keeping in the kitchen. Unfortunately she showed them off to Gisela (Mrs. Clean) and Burt (most skittish about non-clean) who looked into the kitchen, thinking about our eating breakfast the next morning. They both proclaimed that they would NOT eat there. So in the morning we left and looked for a place to eat. We finally found a restaurant with large duck eggs, which we did not try, but did have breakfast.
Of course we visited the famed Salisbury Cathedral. It was begun in 1220 and is a magnificent building.
A most spectacular chalk drawing was awaiting us—-the Cerne Giant. This 60-meter-high giant is on a hillside allowing a full showing of EVERYTHING! Sheep keep the vegetation down and the drawing seeable.
We were traveling in two cars—-Gisela’s car had Gisela, Wolfie and Bob; Burt’s rented car had Burt, Jeanne and me. When we were in Dorset, we got a little lost from each other. Anyway, Burt, Jeanne and I had a lovely Cream Tea in a very old teashop in Dorset.
We moved on to Southhampton, the port where Jeanne’s and my father had landed in World War I, after traversing the Atlantic Ocean. Clearly it still was a busy port.
We found Gisela, Wolfie and Bob, again, and plan to continue our journey, east along the southern coast.