July 12, 2019: Pursuing Fantasies

Before starting our long journey north into Scotland, we planned to stop in Oxford, a city that tugged at both of our literary heartstrings. While Oxford is also home to a prestigious university, we treasured this stop as a chance to visit the Eagle and Child pub and to see Christ Church of Oxford University.


As we arrived at Oxford, we first located the Eagle and Child and headed there. This stop was one I had hoped we could make, as The Inklings, a literary group including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, regularly met here. It was at this location that Tolkien shared the novel Lord of the Rings as he wrote it.

Walking into the Eagle and Child felt like walking into the past. The pub consisted of several rooms, so navigating through it felt a little strange at first, and one almost felt like they could wander into Narnia if they just took the right turn. We located the area where the group met and ordered some cider and fish chips. As I drank, I felt like I was sitting at the Prancing Pony in Bree. The food was delicious and plentiful; one order fed both Tiffany and me.

Tiffany was excited for our next stop, Christ Church of Oxford University. She is a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, and several scenes from the movies were filmed at this college. Sadly we could not join a tour since we had our suitcases with us, and bags were not allowed. Instead, we found a shady spot in the grass to sit and breathe in the botanical beauties that brought us back to our college days. As we sat there, I imagined that just perhaps I had joined a school to become a wizard.


Since we had a train to catch, we sadly turned back toward the train station, boarded our train, and waved goodbye to the fantasies of Oxford.

Since we had a train to catch, we sadly turned back toward the train station, boarded our train, and waved goodbye to the fantasies of Oxford.


As the train made its way north, it was exciting to see the magical changes in the landscape. Honestly, entering into Scotland felt like entering into a fairy tale. Enormous, sweeping green hills dominated most of the scenery, as hidden nooks of beauty briefly entered into our sight before being obscured once more.


As we arrived in Edinburgh, we encountered the first proper rain of our trip. Thankfully, the nearest hotel was just across the street from the train station. With our bags in hand, we raced across the street and into the hotel lobby, where we found ourselves thoroughly drenched. Our exploration of Edinburgh would have to wait until tomorrow- or so we thought. Life has a way of changing plans, but that’s a story for another day!