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MicktheGreek

In the circle of enlightenment (I): When the bell begins to chime

It takes no longer than twenty minutes to traverse most part of the majestic Oxford on foot. If you are as smart as I am, you should start from the Head of the ...
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It takes no longer than twenty minutes to traverse most part of the majestic Oxford on foot. If you are as smart as I am, you should start from the Head of the River, a pub not only strategically located as its name suggests, but one that plies a heavy trade on most palatable food and nectar-like beer. Once you have let the view of the ever eventful Thames seep in, take a stroll along Christ Church Meadow Walk, then turn left to Poplar Walk which leads to the eponymous building and entrance to Christ Church College and Cathedral. But don’t go in just yet. Turn right on Broad Walk, then left to Merton Walk on which the impressive Masters’ Garden becomes plain to sight. Go past Dead Man’s Walk, cross the narrow gate into Grove Walk and you are on the cobbled and quaint Merton Street. If the ghost of Francis Windebank hasn’t crossed your sight by now, surely spirits of kings, chancellors and bishops must have whispered to you and imparted the aura of Oxford’s greatness. As you stand there, simply raise your head and look around. You will feel dwarfed by expertly crafted stone giants that keep the medieval embers aglow: University of St Mary the Virgin; Magdalene College; Radcliffe Square; Bodleian Library; Sheldonian Theatre; plus many more are within a stone’s throw. Viewed from inside, some look really dingy and oaken, yet imposing and awesome from outside. The precise origin of some of Oxford’s colleges is still unknown, although a few stake a claim to me as the oldest with a provenance stretching back to 12th century. Hundreds of years of succession of mighty conquerors, civil war, political intrigue and reformation have gone by, but their passing has left the buildings almost untouched, with a grandeur there for all to see.

Time for public access is up. Ungainly tourist crowds have dispersed and the bell from the College Chapel’s tower has started to chime. Despite its picturesque appearance, Merton Street is accessible by vehicles, so rumbling sounds of the odd car rolling on the cobbled surface are unavoidable. Barring this, one can feel a tad daunted when standing there on their own at night. The old-style street lights trigger a strange sense of awe as they can transport the mind’s eye to the likes of Bucks Row back in 1888. Still, I have none of all that. Right now, at approximately 18:30 PM, I feel safe in the Circle of Enlightenment. As they taught me back in school, it was Knowledge and Enlightenment that exorcised prejudice and fear. Should there be any haunting figures lurking the old streets of Oxford, I only hope a long exposure will bring them out.

I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year.
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11 Comments | Report
Keefyboy Platinum
 
Keefyboy December 31, 2018
Do you know Mick before I opened this from the new photos page I had a feeling this was one of yours. You have a great style.
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek December 31, 2018
... and a great patience to be up and about in Oxford all night, LOL! Cheers Keith, Happy New Year!
Bazz PRO+
 
Bazz January 01, 2019
Terrific capture and lighting! Love the old architecture and cobble stones!
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek January 01, 2019
Thank you Cher! It is a remarkable place to visit...
lizziemellis PRO+
 
lizziemellis January 03, 2019
Love the cobbled street and moody lighting :-)
traceymcdonald
 
traceymcdonald January 07, 2019
Amazing!
petercundill PRO
 
petercundill January 08, 2019
Pure genius Mick, have a happy and prolific new year :0)
reginaldgargaro67 PRO+
 
reginaldgargaro67 January 23, 2019
great perspective mick :~))
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek January 23, 2019
Cheers Steve!
enriquekapie Platinum
 
enriquekapie January 29, 2019
Wow Mick superphoto!
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek January 29, 2019
Thanks Erik! This is a great street to visit...
Brielofan PRO
 
Brielofan July 20, 2019
I love this shot of Merton! I'll have to try and get there in the evening.
davidjprosser Platinum
 
davidjprosser Feb 28
Lovely!
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek Feb 28
Thanks David!
thekidfromcastlerock PRO+
 
😍
thekidfromcastlerock PRO+
 
I really love photos like this where there is a strange almost desolate kind of feeling. You can really feel the moment behind the camera. It also reminds me of New England gothic films for some reason. Love this.
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek Mar 05
Thanks a lot, I am glad you like it. There are many parts of this country, surprisingly in big cities, that emit the aura of Middle Ages and are blended nicely with modern complexes. Oxford is certainly one of them.
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