England and Iceland - Day 4

We woke up in Oxford- Martin made us an amazing breakfast of farm fresh eggs, porridge, and toast.  It was exactly what we wanted and needed!
We walked towards the bus station, and wandered into and out of places along the way.  Mom literally made me go into this candy store and take pictures for her because she thought it was so awesome.  I agree.
We found this cool courtyard in the Bodleian Library.  It lead right into the Radcliffe Camera (of yesterday's post fame).  I flitted back and forth between the two areas while the others wandered into the Library gift shop thing.  I loved the two spaces interacting with each other, which is a total architecture nerd thing to say, but I totes don't care, haha.
Bridge of Sighs.
Even with our amazingly healthy and hearty breakfast from Martin, we couldn't help grabbing a Ben's Cookie for the road!  That's starting your day off right.
Bikes = Oxford.
We then hopped on our bus to go to Blenheim Palace! Winston Churchill was born there, which is probably how most people know it, but you know me, I was interested in the architecture.

I'd never seen an English Manor House and grounds, and we were in for a treat!  Everything was so lush, so well cared for, so intricate.  I loved the architecture of the house, the rolling hills of the grounds, and the views from everywhere.  There was just so much to see!
Martin later told us that they used to host huge parties in this bridge, which is ridiculously cool.
Album cover.
Can we stop to admire how huge this tree is compared to Matt and Beth sitting below it?!
Our stroll around the grounds came to a halt when a sudden storm rolled over.  We took shelter under large trees and were soon on our way again- but not before some rain pictures.
Looking back at the Palace.
After our tour of the grounds, we headed inside for a Churchill exhibit, and totally played in a kids area...
...before heading back outside to get into the main house tour.
Beauty and the Beast library?
We took this little train to get to the hedgerow maze!
I'd never done a large maze before!  I got up to the first lookout tower easily, but got super lost and turned around trying to get to the other tower.  I ended up crossing back and mapping out a route from the first tower so I could get into the center and get out!
Once I got into the center, there were all these boys playing tag together.  I totally wanted to play, but instead just got a few action shots and got outta there before I got lost again, haha.
There were other games and mazes to solve once we got out of the hedgerow one!
We walked back to the bus stop through the grounds and then the town and watched the sunset.  It was gorge.  I took too many pictures of it, but what else is new?
 Oxford Castle!  When you google it, it says "Opened in 1071".  History.
We tried to walk to this place along the river, Isis, but with all the recent flooding, the toe path was flooded.  And dark, flooded path was so not going to work...
So instead, since we were near it, we went to The Head of the River for dinner!
Everything was deliciousssss.  I got the chicken dinner with some roasted veggies and fries. 
I think this was a goat cheese pie??  With mashed potatoes and greens to accompany.
Or maybe this was the goat cheese pie, and the above one was Dad's that involved some meat?  I don't remember anymore!
And Mom got lasagna.  All delicious and filling and warm after a full day outside.
I loved Blenheim Palace, we stayed there for hours exploring everything we could!  The architecture was intricate and interesting, and the grounds were gorgeous to explore.  Our walks to and from the center of Oxford to Martin's place gave us good time in the area too.  Also, when leaving the Palace, I called baggage services (for at least the tenth time) and discovered they had found my bag and it would be on a flight to London the following day.  I felt so much calmer now that I knew I wouldn't freeze once we got to Iceland.  Yay!  Successful day!!

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