For the time being, we’re in Britain, and last week we had a lovely day out in Oxford. Of course, the colleges in all their non-Cantabrian modesty (aka pomp) are always worth a visit, and this time we went to see Balliol (having been into Pembroke, Magdalen, and St Edmund’s before).
Pretty much all colleges sport some pretty or not so pretty gargoyles, and Balliol is no exception. They also seem to like rather long lunch breaks.
From the posh, we went to the more down-to-earth, but not less educational Pitt Rivers Museum. It must be one of the most crammed exhibitions, and I really like it. If you are in Oxford, don’t miss out on this one!
The English weather was merciful, so we could also stroll around Christchurch Meadow and along the river Isis (usually known as Thames). The cows were impressive, and to our surprise and delight we also saw the first hatchlings of the year.
While on holiday in Cambodia a few years ago, we spent two weeks in Siem Reap to explore Angkor Wat and surrounding temples. In Ta Prohm, we saw these Psittacula alexandri, soaring over the highest trees, and very rarely coming close enough to take a photo of with a compact camera.
This Lamprotornis nitens was a curious little fellow in Hlane National Park, Swaziland. It’s also called a red-shouldered glossy-starling or Cape glossy starling. At first, I confused this species with Burchell’s Starling, but they have brown eyes, not yellow ones.
Apparently, the Cape Starling is able to see in the UV-spectrum and can therefore recognize different grades of ripeness of fruit.
Wroclaw is full of big and small surprises, and the smallest, but one of the best in my travel book, are the gnomes. There are several hundred of them all over the place, but most are hidden in plain sight in the Old Town.
They seem to be a mix of political statement and advertisement, a bit tacky at times, but mostly great fun to look out for.