So this post is way overdue! Our last two days in England were spent visiting Bath, the city of Jane Austen and the Roman baths and then Brighton, a seaside report that reminded me a bit too much of Coney Island for my taste. But the regency pavilion was wroth seeing.
Bath is a gorgeous city if overrun by aggressive sea gulls. Signs are everywhere, pleading with people not to feed them. Seriously? –A bit of a Hitchcockian experience walking around town in the evening with streets full of gulls fighting over garbage. Yikes. But the town itself is simple beautiful. The royal crescent is a vast semi-circle of Georgian townhouses up on a hill, all the same but each one a work of art. The abbey in the middle of town echoed the 18th-19th century stories of bath. And the Roman baths had been upgraded to a major tourist site with ebaborate and crowned exhibits. The students love exploring the town on their own and enjoying the freedom to capture the essence of this beautiful place.
The following day brought us to Brighton, apparently the gay capital of Britain, or so we were told. It was a festive, seaside resort on a warm summer weekend so it was crowded with families, “hen parties” with the bride-to-be tipsily making her way around the pubs, and a long pier into the water with rides and restaurants and tons of people. The sun was fairly oppressive but the students went right for the rides and again, dove into the sights and sounds of the festivities.
Sunday morning brought us all back to Heathrow and off we flew to New York and the rest of summer. A number of students were already planning on a return visit. Together we had explored new places and to some degree made them our own. Now these places are part of the map of our memories and in some ways transform how we negotiate our way through our home places and spaces.
Oxford 2018 was a success, I would say.