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In the City of Oxford

Today was our day of rest in Oxford, well a non-boating day anyway. We started our wander around the city of dreaming spires with a walk to the castle which dates back to Saxon times. The castle eventually became a prison and remained so until 1996. Today it is a luxury hotel surrounded by restaurants and gardens, just a short walk from the city centre it is well worth a visit.

Oxford Castle

We bought some postcards and retreated to the nearby Wetherspoons where we had coffee while we wrote our messages. A light breakfast followed the coffees and by midday we were back outside posting the cards before doing some more sightseeing. There are many small specialist shops in Oxford that are related to the university and its affluent population so it makes it an interesting place to wander around.

We found ourselves outside the ‘Eagle & Child’ pub the regular meeting place of the ‘Inklings’ a group of writers that included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis who knew it as the ‘Bird & Baby’. We made our way inside and found a seat in the ‘Rabbit Room’, the actual place where those esteemed writers used to meet. We sat in the small alcove on the right of this picture and soaked up the atmosphere.

File:Eagle and Child (interior).jpg

Eagle & Child (Wikipedia)

Eagle & Child website

We returned to the boat and had a late lunch, it was a delicious homemade quiche accompanied by handmade coleslaw. Sue slaved over the cooker while I slaved over a jigsaw and all the time the engine worked hard to charge the batteries and heat the water.

After all of that was over we went for a walk along the riverbank down past Osney lock and island and on to folly bridge before returning to the city centre. It was after seven o’clock but the streets were still busy with students and tourists. Many of those tourists were students here themselves once and have returned to reminisce with friends and family. Our evening walk was concluded as we walked back along the towpath to our mooring.