Today I like to take you on an early morning run through “Lock Down” Oxford on a Sunday morning after – thankfully – a quiet night on call.
It won’t be a fast run, because we will stop frequently to take a look at some well known historic sights, but also at some less obvious features I have spotted this morning, which are easy to overlook, but which I find so typical for the British sense of humor or way of life…..
Starting right at the clinic in Iffley Road, it doesn’t take you long (in fact just to the other side of the road….) to realize that running has had a rather famous tradition here …….
Roger Bannister’s ground breaking sub 4 minute mile at the University’s Sports Fields was another inspiring events of that time, following the successful ascent of Mount Everest the previous summer. Clocking double the time per mile when I am out for a run is giving me a rough idea of this achievement (and I have no idea what today’s record is….).
Continuing at snail pace (….) away from Magdalen Bridge, I am heading for the Thames and I am crossing the river at Weir’s Lane, joining the towpath just as the sun is rising.
Kanal boats and famous rowing clubs are the main feature here
and the meadows give a sense of tranquility despite their proximity to the city center.
Soon the famous “Head of the River” public house comes into sight
and I am crossing the river again to head for the historic part of Oxford.
Christ Church and Merton College and Merton Field are normally tourist magnets, but this morning I have these quintessential Oxfordian institutions just for myself…
While running through the smaller lanes and alleys, the writing on an ATM machine is catching my eye:
“TLC not PLC”…..not sure if that is true, but at least it is a nice touch and it is an example to look for the little things in life that can make a difference to a whole day.
Other places I am passing that make me smile are the Three Goats Heads Pub (heaven knows where this name comes from……)
and the very contemporarily named “Nosebag Restaurant”
which then turns out to have a somewhat boring explanation for its name……
Heading down Broad street leaving the Sheldonian Theatre on my right
I am running along Catte Street right between the Bodleian and the Codrington Libraries and have another stop at the Radcliffe Camera.
Other than a few cyclists and some early morning runners like me, there is absolutely no one in sight….
I also realize that Sir Edmond Halley appears to have had a very short way to work …….
My memories go back to 1986 when I had the great fortune to see the comet with my own eyes in Alice Springs. I am wondering though if I will get a second chance…….
Rather than continuing on the High Street to return to the clinic, I decide to take another detour back into the historic heart of the city and not far away from the Bridge of Sighs
I am paying Oxford’s oldest pub , the somewhat hidden “Turf Tavern” a brief visit.
Obviously closed – not only because of the pandemic – at this time of day, it appears that here a lot of famous drinkers must have had a good time…..
This beautiful sculpture at the chapel of Queen’s College
demands a final stop, before I am aiming for the familiar sight of “The Cape of Good Hope”
and the “other” Oxford (see my last post) at Iffley Road.
How do you feel ? Did you enjoy our run ?!…….