|As we prepared to depart Oxford we got this final shot.|
This may sound odd but, I think I like London more than Paris. My thoughts on this were precipitated by Tom sending me a “brain game” a few days ago that indicate we are both almost half, left and right-brained. Tom leaning to the left, me leaning to the right.
|The sky in the UK is ever-changing.|
Romantic, creative, emotional on the right; practical, mathematical, factual on the left. That somewhat unscientific test may have been correct after all. I loved Paris as a “dream” of Paris. Once there, my practical left brain took over.
|The varying colors of the row buildings created a charming feel in the village of Oxford.|
For us, it was too commercialized, expensive, and unfriendly. Yes, the sights and history are breathtaking but, after 16 days, we’d formulated an opinion totally overrun by the practicality of the left brain.
|For both the Bampton and Oxford photos I had to use the cheap camera in order to save the battery on the better camera for photos of Downton Abbey. As a result, these photos may not be as clear as those at the Highclere Castle. It proved to be a wise decision when the battery on the better camera was used entirely at the castle. Soon, we order a new camera, this time with two batteries.|
London, on the other hand, is a more left-brain city. It just makes sense to us. People are more friendly and dignified, it’s easier to get around, the taxes aren’t as high, and most of all, we feel welcomed.
|St. Mary the Virgin, University Church.|
It helps that we’ve been able to freely speak in the same language and that we’ve met many wonderful people since we arrived eight days ago, engaging in several enjoyable conversations.
|The interior of St. Mary the Virgin, University Church.|
|More interior of St. Mary the Virgin, University Church.|
Our practical sides enjoy the interactions with people we encounter along the way, from the ticket guy at the “tube” to the checkout person at the grocery store where we purchase snacks. Warm. Friendly. Approachable.
|The alter at St. Mary the Virgin, University Church.|
Don’t get me wrong. Paris is lovely. However, for us, three of four days would have been enough. As one stays longer, a location’s true essence begins to reveal itself as we’ve so well discovered living in countries from two to three months at a time. We either love them or we’re ambivalent after the long stay. There’s no in-between.
|A walkway between college buildings.|
Perhaps a small part of our lack of enthusiasm is due to the fact that we’re chomping at the bit to get back on another cruise which we’ll be boarding one week from today.
|We took this photo for Tom to send to a former co-worker with the same last name, minus the “e” at the end.|
It’s easy for us to understand why we don’t spend almost everyday sightseeing. However, others may not. It’s this simple. When we’d spent all our lives living in Minnesota (over 40 years for me), we never went sightseeing. On occasion, we’d visit a local attraction with our family. But, never sightseeing
|As long as there are shops and food the tourists will find it, even on the side streets.|
We live in the world. We have no home. The world is our home as we move from location to location. It’s human nature to “settle in” finding joy and comfort in everyday activities, at times mundane, although none the less, pleasing to one’s desire for comfort and familiarity. That’s us. That’s our lives.
|Hertford Bridge, the “Bridge of Sighs” in Oxford is similar to the “Bridge of Sighs” we saw while in Venice last summer.|
And yes, we’ve loved what we’ve seen in Paris and now in London (more sightseeing tomorrow). But, we love looking out at the ocean, our surroundings, nature, learning culture, and lifestyle different from our own.
|One more departing shot of the Radcliffe Camera (meaning “room”) building.|
Somehow, for whatever time we may have been in a location, meeting people and making new friends, even those with whom we may not share the same language, make it more meaningful.
|A side street in Oxford of little interest to tourists.|
Tomorrow at 7:30 am, we’ll walk to the Kensington station to take the “tube” to Victoria Station to hook up with our tour group for an all-day experience. Rain is predicted for the entire day. We’ll upload the post for the day before we depart the hotel in the morning and be back on Tuesday with many new photos of our day-long tour of the city and the Thames River.
|One can only imagine the merchandise for sale in this store 325 years ago.|
We’ll take the hotel’s umbrella and wear our hooded jackets preparing to get soaked as we did in Versailles a few weeks ago. Our left brain says to be prepared. Our right brain says “go anyway, rain or shine!”
Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2013
With the Internet finally working the following day, we had one more day without a post. Tomorrow, it will be easy going forward when we were able to post almost every day with photos with only a few days without service over the next year.