Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Excursion to Oxford

Last weekend I went on an unexpected trip to Oxford.

I was sitting on the grass with some BYU students at the BYU party on Friday, and a couple of them were talking about going to Oxford in the morning. Really early in the morning, like at 6. I'm not really a morning person (although I'd like to be, actually. I know that sounds weird, but it's true), and there were some other things I would have liked to do on Saturday, but I made a spur-of-the-moment decision and decided to tag along with my seven other friends who were going.

I wasn't disappointed.

The bus ride was long (it took 3 hours to travel 60 miles . . . they have a lot of bus stops in England), and we had some, um, interesting experiences on the bus (like an angry bus driver and a car running into the bus; don't worry, everyone was safe), but we ended up getting to Oxford on time.

Ruth, a former BYU student who currently studies and works at Oxford, gave us a tour of the city. To be honest, I wasn't initally impressed with Oxford. It's darker than Cambridge; it was a bit intimidating. But it warmed up to me as the day went along. Ruth took us to her college (and I wish I could remember what it was called), we went through the gardens, and we admired the Victorian homes in the area.

Lovely Victorian home and English Garden

Ruth's College

She also took us past the Rhodes House, where the Rhodes Scholars stay, and the Pitt Rivers museum (where a stuffed Dodo Bird is on display . . . and this is the same Dodo Bird that inspired Lewis Carroll). In fact, the day we visited Oxford was "Alice's Day," and they were celebrating Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. When we went to the Bodelain Library, there were some really interesting (and rather disturbing) pictures by Salvador Dali about Alice in Wonderland.

The Rhodes House

The Restricted Section (in Harry Potter)

Ruth also took us to the Cathedral of St. Mary's, and showed us C.S. Lewis's inspiration for The Chronicles of Narnia.

We also got to see the Old Library at St. Mary's, which was built in the 1300s! And Ruth got us past the huge line for the Tower, so we were able to go up there as well. It was exhilarating seeing the city of Oxford from such a height. (Although there were very narrow balconies up there . . . we had to squeeze together multiple times to let people get past.)

Up on the Tower

Ruth had a "smattering of appointments" later on in the day, so she turned us loose after our Tower Tour. We decided to get some meat pies at a place called Pieminister's. The pies were delectable. Mmm. So good.

"Minty Lamb" Meat Pie

We also went to Magadlen College, which is where C.S. Lewis taught. It is said to be the most beautiful college at Oxford, and I believe it. I fell in love with it. The gardens were absolutely gorgeous. I just felt at home there, actually. (Haha, and I kept thinking about the Shire from Lord of the Rings. Anywho.) We also walked along Addison's Walk, which is where C.S. Lewis had his ephiphany about Christianity and decided to become a Christian.

Magadlen College

Along Addison's Walk

All in all, Saturday was a very good day. I was glad that I traveled to Oxford, especially so I could compare and contrast Oxford and Cambridge. I'm leaning more towards Cambridge at the moment. Which is good because I'm here for the summer. :)

1 comment:

  1. This is the best blog that I have ever read.

    (name withheld by request)