London and Oxford

Let’s start with the obligatory Big Ben shot with the bonus double-decker bus. We were staying with a friend near Leicester Square and this was taken not far from there.

Westminster Abbey now charges a £20 entrance fee. It’s a new fad at popular tourist churches throughout Europe. We passed, and just looked from outside.

St. James Park looks like a painting. There are 3 parks that are one after the other. Our host said he still can’t tell St. James Park from Green Park.

Seeing ducks at the park always reminds me of the story told by a social worker specializing in helping refugees adapt to their new country. She has to tell Asian refugees that the ducks in the park are not for dinner and that it’s forbidden to hunt them. (But they look so juicy!)

No trip to London is complete without a slow stroll through Harrod’s food halls to ogle the cakes. What is a hummingbird cake, anyway? Does hummingbird taste like chicken?

I’m not sure if her face is cracked on purpose. I do like her lounge lion though. Maybe they sell them at IKEA.

We spent a day in Oxford. This is the Bodleian Library.

And the Radcliffe Camera

And this is an old wooden door with rusty bits and a lion. Europeans are obsessed with lions. I’m sure they find me very odd for taking pictures of their doors. Maybe they wonder to themselves whether I’m from a country where doors haven’t been invented yet.

We went to a couple of museums, including one full of curiosities like shrunken heads, but I’ll spare you. The outsides were lovely.

This man with his giant bird friend — maybe it’s supposed to symbolize a friendship between America and France. That guy looks pretty French. And I’m sure that ridiculous bird is our national mascot.

Christ Church now charges an entrance fee too. But Evensong is free. I took a few sneaky pics on my way out. The ritual of evensong is slightly goofy, with a lot of standing and sitting, and a priest doing monotone chanting.

We had a kebab dinner (from the kebab truck at Pembroke Square)

and watched the sun fade out over Christ Church meadow.

 

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