Now I start the second phase of this blog. The next one will be snippets from my trips that I have recorded through a diary. The first phase had consisted of some newspaper articles I had written soon after my visits. Now I will try to recollect undocumented voyages.
First will be the Cotswolds. I find it quite challenging to write about a place where I live in – it is a similar challenge you face when you try to teach your mother tongue to a foreigner. Nevertheless, I’ll give it a go.
If you ever wonder how fairy tales came to being or how J. R. R. Tolkien came up with the Hobbits and the villages in the Lord of the Rings, you will find your answer in the Cotswolds villages.
Only a couple of hours drive away from London, in the Cotswolds, you find yourself in a world of cupcake cottage houses and chocolate rooftops, luscious green hills interrupted by yellower than sun sesame and mustard fields accompanied by the orchestra of snow-white sheep, lamb and the catwalk of horses.
The Cotswolds villages, such as Wichcombe, Stanton, Bibury, dating back to 15th and 16th centuries are so tiny and yet so abundant in charm. Only 2 hours away from London, you find yourself in a completely different world than the bustling city life. The beauty of it all is that you can make a day trip out of it! It is so easy to get to, see around and drive back.
I was particularly excited by our visit in Juri’s Tearoom in Whichcombe. Our forced stopover at this quintessentially British invention of tearoom due to the necessities of the human body turned out to be quite a pleasant experience. I was exhilarated by happiness when I found out that the tearoom was run by a Japanese family in a very typical English village and serving customers such as myself and my husband, a Turkish and a Bangladeshi. A dream come true where the word “difference” has no meaning…
The biggest town in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham is supposedly a haunted place as this is where the English Civil War took place. Whilst I did not encounter any ghosts, I thought Cheltenham lacked the magic of its surrounding villages.
As for Oxford…Not much can be said about it apart from what’s already been said. Besides its academic ranking, I would rank Oxford also highly in the list of places to day visit. You don’t need to be interested in arts and sciences or know much about history. Nothing would stop you from enjoying the surprising maze of streets and picture perfect architecture whilst breathing in the sophistication that only Oxford can offer.