Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beauty in Small Faces

The fjords are quite beautiful--we had a thrilling time sailing into the Geiranger fjord and back out again.Mountains on all side, clear, deep, cold water--it's a breath taking sight.



But nevertheless, despite all the natural beauty and all the art museums and all the town squares in all my summer travels, there are a couple of sights even more precious waiting for me in Springfield--the bright faces of my two small nieces!
                                                               Photo by E. Ransdell

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sunny Surprises

In Alesund, we were lucky enough to hit a bright, sunny day. Long pants were too hot! It was wonderful! (I think my friends would have preferred the cold, but all the Norwegians were delighted by the surprisingly warm summer's day. The temperature must have been at least 75 degrees! (That's 23 degrees Celsius.)

We started our day's tour by climbing the nearest hill, which is what gave us such a gorgeous view of the city.

When we got to Geirganger Fjord, we knew it was time to start making friends. It seems that the natives are actually quite friendly....

North to Norway



 Finally made it to Norway! Usually when I hit Europe, I go south to the beaches or at least to Italy, but this time I was brave enough to go the other direction. As you can see, on the Hardanger Plain, it's a nice, sunny summer's day! (It's a good thing I remembered to bring something for my ears....)

Luckily, getting there was half the fun. Cruising the fjords was a real treat.... even if we had to keep our heaviest clothes on!






Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Celebration in Cambridge

Once I'd visited Oxford, it seemed only fair to visit Cambridge as well. Inadvertently, the day I chose was Graduation Day! I saw lots of tired students and happy parents. The students were strutting all around town in their black gowns while their parents followed right behind. There was joy in the air!

Unfortunately for me, however, that meant that most of the colleges were closed to visitors. In order to see King's College, I had to go to evensong!

It's always best to take college with a grain of salt, however. That's why I like the picture of the guy having lunch near the "Don't step on the grass" sign! For crying out loud, why bother to have such nice grass if you can't walk on it!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tolkien Country

I thought it was time to finally visit universities even more famous than the U of A! So we went to Oxford. Things are arranged quite differently in England. Oxford actually consists of lots of different colleges. You can go in and visit many of them, but the only one I wanted to tour was Merton--which is where J.R.R. Tolkien was a professor. Afterwards I took a long walk around the canal, thinking, hmm, this is where he could have gotten the idea for Rivendell......



Who wouldn't get great ideas walking around such a beautiful place? But of course, I was lucky enough to be there on a sunny day, so everything seemed possible!

Elves would be here, of course, lurking behind the trees. And dwarves just around the corner. Of course, J.R.R. was doing all this thinking and writing in his "spare" time....

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chillingly Diabolical



It's summer, so I'm out and about again. This year I started in Stratford-upon-Avon. Although my friends and I enjoyed John III and Julius Caesar, Jonjo's O'Neill's performance in the title role of Richard III blew us away. O'Neill was brilliant as the heartless ruler. O'Neill started his performance on a casual note, so we were taken off guard when he reeled in the audience along with his victims, one by one.

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