What can I say about a place that saved a blackboard that Einstein used during a lecture to write some equations that showed that the universe changed size over time? Even if he did make some arithmetical errors, this is the type of history that is everywhere in Oxford.


Oxford is one of the oldest, and most respected places of higher learning in the world. Everywhere you look through the town it’s full of specialized colleges, libraries, churches and divinity schools, and students. It’s exciting, invigorating, and a mecca for a geek! I’m in heaven.


I had a tour of the Bodlean library, where there are manuscripts and books from the beginning of books. They still have some chained to the shelves, the way they used to be. I also saw the spot where they filmed the “Restricted Section” in Harry Potter. Chained books and all. (no pictures allowed).


The Bridge of Sighs. Named either after the one in Venice, or because the only bathroom is across the other side. Depends on who you believe.

I went through the History of Science Museum, and saw the Einstein blackboard, many microscopes and other ground-breaking scientific instruments (the ACTUAL ones, not copies). There are the actual notes of many important discoveries and ideas. So much science history here that it’s quite overwhelming.


I watched as proud and relieved students graduated and prouder (and more relieved) parents took photos and cried. If ever there is a degree to be earned that means something, I have to think it’s one from here. I don’t mean to disparage other universities, but this is Oxford for God’s sake. The home of learning in English history (sorry Cambridge).




The Radcliffe Camera, an actual working library (well, more a reading room now for the Bodlean Library). Seldom open to the public, it’s another iconic symbol of Oxford and learning.

I’ve moved on from Oxford now, the next blog will likely be from Banbury. I’m going to stop there for a couple of days for laundry and some shopping. Please keep commenting, it’s great to hear what you have to say. I miss everyone, but continue to be having a fantastic adventure. Thanks for all the positive thoughts!

6 Replies to “Geeking out in Oxford”

  1. Doug,
    Hello from Sidney! I am thoroughly enjoying your educational and entertaining blog. So happy you are having a wonderful time and living your dream. Sounds like retirement agrees with you. Many thanks for allowing me to enjoy your beautiful boat in Sidney while you are away. Robbie is a great skipper and always delightful company.

    1. Thanks Leslie! I’m really happy that the boat is being enjoyed! Have a great summer and keep in touch.

  2. Hi Doug, We spent an afternoon in Oxford last summer and thoroughly enjoyed the town. Such history! We have some similar photos. We can compare when [if?] you get home.

  3. Hi Doug! It sounds like you’re having the trip of a lifetime. Thanks for letting us tag along with you. I’m thoroughly enjoying your posts. It’s such an amazing way to really see a country and connect with its people and culture. Takes me back to when Mike and I did this sort of trip in France. Wishing you all the best! xo Rae Ann

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