Saturday 31st August
Another hot and sunny day – this time we made sure to take our own water supplies rather than paying through the nose for bottled. We headed straight for the Ashmolean museum via the Bridge of Sighs, through which you can see the Bodleian Library;
At the Ashmolean we started the morning being amazed at the Egyptian galleries – huge chunks of sandstone walls from tombs, covered with pictures and hieroglyphs, and loads of other stuff. No photography allowed unfortunately unless you turn off the flash but my little camera can’t cope with low light levels. The star turn was a mummy called Djed – OK, his name was many more syllables and impossible to remember, so that’s what the academics call him! He was lying – fully bandaged, and not at all like mummies on horror films – in his sarcophagus, which was all beautifully decorated, painted and carved. There was a touch-screen display where you could watch a (slightly gruesome) description of how one would prepare a body for mummification and burial, and highlights from the scan they carried out to see what was inside the wrappings. Fascinating stuff. Then we went up to the paintings for another hour or so. We had a look at the rooftop terrace dining room which looked tempting enough though we didn’t fancy the limited menu, so not wanting to sit in the underground cafe we bought some lunch in Pret and went down to Christchurch Meadow for lunch in the sun and an hour with the paper. On the way we took a photo of the Martyrs’ Memorial from the Ashmolean entrance;
A guided walking tour whipped by as we approached for a closer look – I reckon they got about a minute of explanation then off they went again. Here’s a closer view of Cranmer, Latimer or Ridley, no idea which is which;
After lunch I wanted to visit the Botanic Garden so Dave opted to go back to the boat with the papers! The garden is a wonderful place for anyone with even a passing interest in plants and I could waffle on for ages but here are some photos instead! First, a view through papyrus reeds seems appropriate after visiting Djed this morning;
the spiky plant is the source of tequila;
keep away from this if you are an insect;
and I wish my borders at home looked like this …..