Monday, August 17, 2015

The UK

One of the perks of my work is that I am able to accumulate air miles.  Michael had a two week trip scheduled around the UK for his work, with all his expenses covered.  We looked at my air miles and figured that if I used them all, I could accompany him.  So for two weeks, I'm tagging along with him as he visits the major universities and colleges in London, Oxford, Cambridge, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Durham.  We are taking the train around, which is great, and really gives us a lay of the land.  I realize again on such a trip that I am not a tourist by nature, nor do I like big cities or places swamped by tourists.  The best place so far has been St. Andrews, a town of about 60,000 (35,000 are students at the University of St. Andrews!) right on the North Sea - absolutely beautiful.  After all the hustle and bustle of the other places (especially London), my soul immediately found a connection at St. Andrews.
An enjoyable bike tour around Oxford
The actual lamp that inspired C.S. Lewis to write about Narnia.
Michael and his colleague, James, in stocks, as they deserved.
The streets in Oxford.  Oxford was used a lot for the Harry Potter films, so many Harry Potter tourists and places to visit from the movies.
One of the beautiful buildings in Oxford.
The streets in Cambridge.
This AMAZING cathedral was built under the rule of Henry VI, Henry VII and Henry VIII.  Bob was fascinated by Henry VIII and it was so cool to see that part of the organ covering was Henry VIII's gift to Anne Boleyn. 
This cathedral in St. Andrews was destroyed in 1549, having been built in the 1200s. The story is that in 1549, John Knox preached a sermon and told the people to take the cathedral down.
The beautiful North Sea and relatively untouched beach with many fisherman still working.
Taken in St. Andrews, by the North Sea.
Four mile hike along the sea in Scotland; so very beautiful.
Fields of wheat everywhere in Scotland...along with many free range cows and sheep.  Very peaceful and beautiful.
Tomorrow we will take the train to Edinburgh, then to Durham, then back to London, and then home on Friday.  I have been able to get some writing in while Michael is in meetings.  Our two main tourism days were the two Sundays that he was mostly off.  Thanks to technology I still was able to attend the International Council meetings that were being held in Bakersfield, CA with ICM.  They went from about 5 pm to 1 am, but I was thankful for the ability to connect.  Here is a picture of the International Council, with my Skype picture there as well!