Sunday December 21, 2014
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It is time to summarize our last fortnight in England. As I mentioned, we battled floodwaters to get to Oxfordshire, but the rain did not prevent us from enjoying our last two weeks.
Our accomodation in Oxfordshire was a converted dairy farm in Abingdon, 6 miles south of Oxford. It has a rural setting but was a 10-minute walk to the River Thames and to the Abingdon "city centre".
Our time here included visits to the Oxford. There, we saw Christchurch College where Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) taught, and the "Great Hall" scenes from Harry Potter were filmed (Hogwarts dining hall.) I also did a "C.S. Lewis" tour of Magdalene College where Lewis taught from the 30's - 1956 (before Cambridge.) We enjoyed our trip to The Kilns, Lewis' longtime residence in Oxford.
From Abingdon we were also able to enjoy:
The Abingdon Abbey-destroyed by Henry VIII's men in the 1500's
Legoland Windsor-Tim's favorite!
Jane Austen's Home in Chawton (Hampshire) & her burial site at Winchester Cathedral.-Kathy & Emily are huge Jane Austen fans. Winchester is another wonderful city filled with history. There, we also saw the Round Table of the legendary King Arthur fame.
"The Eagle and the Child" We ate 2 meals at this Oxford pub. It was the meeting place of the the group that called itself "the Inklings" which included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein (Lord of the Rings trilogy author)and others. They dubbed their meeting place "The Bird and the Baby" & met every Tues. evening. (The 1st readings of the Narnia books & Hobbit's stories occurred there.
Basildon Park-a manor that doubled as "Netherfield" in the 2005 "Pride and Predjudice" movie.
Windsor Castle-residence of the royal family and the site of St. George's Chapel
Stratford-Upon-Avon (in Warwickshire), where we saw the birth & burial place of Wm. Shakespeare. Another charming city.
Blenheim Palace-the magnificent residence of the Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. (The 1st Duke of Marlborough back in the 1700's was John Churchill, an ancestor of Winston.)
Stonehenge - the ancient rock structure dating back to 2000 B.C. in Wiltshire
Stourhead-a home & most beautiful gardens also in Wiltshire.
*The Vale of the White Horse - A carving on a Oxfordshire chalky hillside dated to be from 1000 B.C. set above a beautiful valley.
Our 5000 mile, 11-hour trip home was uneventful, but any flight that lands safely is a good flight. We spent two nights in Phoenix to try to reset our internal clocks to Mount. Std. Time. We thank God for this wonderful opportunity made possible by a Lilly grant and the wonderful people at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church. We look forward to seeing you all again and to share some of experiences with you. We have grown in wisdom and understanding, but mostly in the awe of our great God and Savior and his wonderful creation.
Blessings to all,
Todd, Kathy, Emily, Nathan and Tim
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