Dr. Hoffer's Travel Site This site was last updated 05/05/11
UK1999 #36 Oxford University
We spent the morning at Fitzwilliam Museum. Very vast collection of Monet,
Degas, Picasso, Constable, Renoir, Van Dyke, Van Gogh, etc; it was really quite
incredible. Then I decided to climb the tower of Great St. Mary’s Church to take
photos of the whole town. It was very nice but on the way down both my knees
gave out and just about had to lower myself down step by step by using my arms.
Marcia thinks I’m nuts and should stop climbing these things with my knees like
they are. She maybe right, but who wants to admit such things. It started to
rain so we left and made it to Norwich (“Norich”) and visited their cathedral
which has the best-preserved Cloister in England. It really was spectacular.
Coleman’s Mustard was started here. It started to rain again so we headed to the
coast to Great Yarmouth, which is a resort town. Since it was starting to get
late and I hadn’t run yet we pushed south until we gave up and found a fleabag
hotel in Ipswich.
The owner was a handsome, elegant middle-aged Indian who previously worked for Control Data Systems in Edinburgh. Listen to this story. When the company went bust a couple of years ago, he was scrambling for some store to buy from the proceeds of the house he sold so he could make a living. One day he is in a pub and strikes up a conversation with a Russian fellow named Sergei. This guy was bilking wealthy Russians during the heyday after Gorbechov. To get them visas to England, he started a language school here in Ipswich and would charge them tons of money to matriculate them into his “school”. Then he decided he could bilk them for even more by having a hotel for them to stay at. His mistake was that wealthy Russians didn’t want to stay in this fleabag compared to a fine hotel. He then was being foreclosed on by the bank and needed to sell it. The Indian fellow offered him what he owed the bank, and now he’s running this hotel. Says he’s very happy.
After a late run through the streets of Ipswich, I found an Italian restaurant and we ate there and it was the best Italian food since we were in England (they were Siciliani).
Today we drove south to Southend-on-Sea and visited Dr. Peter Choyce at his home and then had lunch with him. It was great reminiscing the old days of IOLs. Then we made the 2.5 hr drive across the “top” of the London Ring and then northeast to Oxford. The run through the town was really great and we enjoyed the hotel which asked for £160 ($272) at first but after explaining we were on a budget dropped it to £140 then £125 ($212). At the end of my run I ducked in to the Randolph (finest in Oxford) and they quoted me £110 ($187). When I told them here at the Old Parsonage, they agreed to match it (even after we were already settled in). It pays to chat with these people.
Tomorrow we really need to see all of Oxford and then get up to Stratford-upon-Avon and see a Shakespeare play. The end is getting closer.
KJH Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #37
Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD
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