We hop on a train now and then to go to Oxford, in the next "shire".  I (Katie here) use the famous Bodleian Library for research, but boy do you have to prove your worth before they'll let you in!  When we visited in 2005 for my Master's research I was SO intimidated by everything and everyone.  (It didn't help that I came across only the snobbiest of snobs that time.)  Anyway, I was sick with intimidation when we first visited, but now it is delightful to realize that, even though it's OXFORD, they're all just regular people there.  You get your elitist snobs, but mostly they're just regular students.  I almost feel like I fit in, a bizarre change from my first impressions.  I enjoy sitting on a bench, watching students walk by and thinking: here I am at the center of  the Intellectual World, and there goes a girl in a miniskirt eating a donut and reading a fashion magazine.  People are people, even in places like Oxford. 
Marc at St. Mary's church.  I love the cobblestones - surprisingly hard to walk on! They stick up more than you can tell.  

Heading for the Bodleian.  What a cool ancient library.  I go to visit my main man, Thomas Whythorne, 16th century composer.  His manuscript is there in the archives (he wrote a collection of all his songs annotated with the reasons why he wrote them.  his story is full of failed romances and all his bad luck.  I love the guy).

The view from the top of St. Mary's church - it was a dizzying climb but awesome to see the crazy architecture of such an ancient place.

And this is the great thing about Oxford - more bikes than cars!  Seriously the roads are crowded with bikers of all kinds - families, students, professors, pregnant women! It's great - definitely not a car-centered place like so many cities are in the US.  This is the parking lot at the train station. 

St. Mary's is covered with these weird medieval gargoyles.  This was one of my favorites, it was next to a really nerdy looking donkey. 

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