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Travelog – Friday, 2 March

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Today started with me having a small meltdown at breakfast (poor waiter didn't know what to think) from all the stress of the travel day and the less-than-ideal evening plans the night before.  Once I recovered from that, we had some pastries and tea, and headed to Oxford for the day to spend time with Jon's friend Jennifer from Rochester.  We caught the Oxford Tube, which is a 24-hour charter bus service that runs between London and Oxford.  The ride ended up beign about two hours, as our bus broke down halfway there and we had to wait for the next one to come along.  I spent some time working through my French language CDs.

Once we arrived, we met up with Jennifer and she walked us through town.  We had lunch at an Irish pub called O'Neill's, I shit you not, which looked exactly like the O'Neill's we frequent in San Mateo and San Francisco, except blue on the outside and without all the football shirts on the ceiling.  Even the sign out front looked the same (generic Gaelic font).  There we discovered the treasure that is Guinness Red, which is exactly what it sounds like – delicious Guinness, except now it is a delicious red beer.  On research I have discovered that it is a brand new variety of Guinness, that just began test marketing in Great Britain this year.  Anyway – we drank some pints, ate Irish pub food, Jon and Jen caught up on gossip, and then we got on our way.

We went on a nice tour of the Bodleian Library* at the university, which has all kinds of cool history and lots of crazy-old books that we weren't allowed to touch.

After the library tour, it had gotten very overcast and was starting to drizzle a bit, and we started an impromptu pub crawl.  We started at the Turf Tavern, which is a pretty well-known (however well-hidden) pub, that sports ceilings that run about 5'7″.  We moved on to a pub called the King's Arms, but didn't drink anything there, then travelled to Jen's regular Friday night haunt, Three Goat's Heads.  The beer there was pretty good, and spectacularly cheap (3.70 GBP for two pints).  Yummy food, as well.  Jen's boyfriend and roomate joined us, and we stayed there until it was time to head back to London, then said our goodbyes and got back on the bus.

Scene of the day: Outside the Turf Tavern

Not to be outdone by our original bus driver, this new one decided to change routes to get around a traffic jam and ended up getting a bit lost.  We lost about fifteen minutes, but I must say, I was very impressed by the driver's skills at driving in reverse on a narrow, car-lined road.

We arrived back in the hotel, inexplicably hungry for some reason, and also tired.  We went straight to bed, in hopes of getting more sleep and avoiding future meltdowns on the trip.

*One of the Harry Potter movies did some filming at the library; I want to say it was for the library scenes in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Makes sense, eh?


Written by Sarah Levantine

March 21, 2007 at 10:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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