24 Hours in England

The end of our Morocco trip had a small addition. Because we booked our tickets to Morocco through London with a separate flight from London to Edinburgh, we were able to squeeze in in a very quick trip to western England. This was done primarily to attend a Lagwagon concert in Bristol because I love my husband.

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Jeff has loved Lagwagon longer than he has loved me.

The boarder control officer actually laughed at us when we described our plans. Part of the problem was that I may have google mapped the drive from London to Bristol using the wrong airport (there are three in London, opps) taking our total drive time from a hour and half to 3+ hours. Thankfully, we are from Los Angeles and driving long distances for social events is completely normal.

Bristol was a surprisingly fun town, and we really wish we had more time to spend there. We stayed in this part hostel/part bowling alley that unlike my airport to destination calculation was perfectly planned. Except that I actually had no clue that the hostel was across the street from the club. I still take credit.

The show itself was super interesting. I obviously do not have the same punk roots as Jeff, but Lagwagon usually tends to be about my speed when we see them in LA. Yes, a little loud and a little aggressive compared to my normal existance, but also very LA,  a mix of people who care and people who just need something to do on a Tuesday.  The Bristol crowd was filled with people from whom punk wasn’t just an outfit on a Friday night.  It was cool, if not slightly realer than I am used to. The crowd was heavily male, and I stood out even more in my straight of the plane from Morocco clothes, but as always the show was great and I even let Jeff leave my side for the encores.

The next morning we started back for the airport, but not before we first stopped in the towns of Bath and Oxford.

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The cathedral at Bath remains to this day one of my favorites. The ceiling is just incredible, and the stain glass is breathtaking.

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Rather spontaneously we decided to pay to actually go into the Roman baths at Bath. Though we were accompanied by hoards of school children, I am really glad we did.  The site is incredibly well preserved and well presented.

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Though I admit, my favorite part of the visit wasn’t historical. As we were gazing into ancient pools a group of middle school aged Italian girls were giggling across the water. As one was taking a photo, her friend in her exuberance hit the phone out of her hand and it landed with loud plop. They all started freaking out attempting to recover it. Soon a museum employee arrived, complete with a walkie talkie to assess the emergency. The whole thing was quite a scene, and apt demonstration of how universal our obsession with our phones is. The phone was successful recovered, but the hysterics took a while to die down.

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Crisis averted

We continued that afternoon to Oxford, which likely because the town was filled with tourists and not students did not meet our highest expectations. We will one day go back with our friend Kirsty, who attended Oxford, to fully appreciate the history of the university and town. I also was just slightly hangery which always has a tendency to impact the afternoon.

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Jeff was slightly disappointed to see the strange juxtaposition of the old and academic and a preponderance tourist monstrosities. The 16th century building with the currency exchange at the bottom was high on his list of offenders

We did however get make pilgrimage to two important sites.

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The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies has for hundreds years, some of them very controversial years, been a hub for my field. I gladly took a picture in front of the building.

And likely much more interesting to the average viewer, we stopped and had lunch at The Eagle and The Child, also famously known as the Bird and the Baby. Tolkien and C.S Lewis met there on Tuesdays and now it serves as a shrine of sorts. Jeff was very excited and so was I once I had eaten and could think straight again.

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The visit was too short and we moved to quickly back to the airport as to not miss another plane. We managed to wander a little thought, and look forward to another opportunity to be back in this part of England soon.

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