Sunday saw me and Katie meeting half-way between our two home towns in Oxford (yeah, long distance relationships are a bitch). And man, the weather for late September was amazing! So off we trottled on the open top bus, and had a day of touristy-magic. Including a trip to the Turf Tavern, a pub which was unsurprisingly full of American tourists and Oxford students not having the kind of conversations that I remember from University.
But not just that, oh no, not me and Katie! We went all out crazy-go-nuts on the tourist trail stopping off at the Oxford Story a trip back 900 years into Oxford history, and then (much to Katie’s delight) a bit of shopping at Alice’s Shop. But, I think the pinnacle of the day was Oxford Castle Mound.
Not that the mound itself was that amazing, just a lot of dirt, but the security system for keeping people who’d not paid the one pound entry fee was pretty much state of the art. To get on the mound you first have to go in the shop and buy yourself a ticket. Upon exiting the shop you then make your way to the mound itself. Before ye can pass, ye must buzz the buzzer on the 5 foot (possibly electrified) gate. Then, when your identification has been verified using a series of voice and DNA checks, the gate is opened electronically.
As we came down the mound we passed a guy who’d obviously missed the sign that said: “This mound costs a pound” and was chased down by the huge guy who worked in the shop. I wouldn’t have liked to get on the wrong side of him!
So was the mound worth a pound? Well, we damn well made sure we got our money’s worth! A whole 30 minutes we sat on the mound. It was quite a moving experience.