Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oxford Trip Pt. 2: Explorations and Revelations

     So, if you'll recall, the last time I left you in jolly old England I was literally dying. I had Jet Lag something fierce. The picture directly above comes from the ill fated first afternoon brunch restaurant, but I can tell you literally nothing about the place. I don't even remember what it was called. But, all that just to say, I did survive my first day in a foreign country (miserable though it was). The next day started with much of the same: obscene tiredness, vomiting, wishing I were anywhere else. But it got better.

Day two I was forced to do things like attend a lecture and a class discussion. I also can't remember much of those. I remember saying things when we were discussing That Hideous Strength, but I don;t remember what I said... it was probably brilliant. We also heard a professor named Michael Ward talk about Lewis, which apparently I thought was super interesting since I bought his book later that day (it's a really good book tbh). My memory starts to come back around lunch time. We went to the famous Eagle and Child pub, frequented by the Inklings! I still wasn't feeling up to much so I only ate a salad (which I still regret b/c pub food is delicious). But the atmosphere was great, and it was nice to be coming out of a jet lagged stupor. 

This is me looking like a vampire, a pale sickly vampire. Also some boys in the pub.

     After lunch we were free to pretty much do what we wanted, and I wasn't keen to shut myself back in my room when I was finally feeling a bit better, so I went exploring with a couple of friends. Let me just say, Oxford is beautiful city. There are so many amazing shops, and the bookstores. Oh my word the bookstores. Let me live and die in a college town. We stopped in at Waterstones (basically British Barnes and Noble) and I was super impressed. They had a cafe where I ordered a quiche. They made me a quiche! Also, the bottled water there comes in a glass bottle. Glass bottles, I tell you. So fancy! I finally ate food, and we explored the books. We found this winner:

It was just as horrific as it looked :p I also picked up a copy of Michael Ward's book Planet Narnia which purports to show that Lewis wrote each Narnia book with a different planet in mind. After wandering the streets of Oxford we found a really pretty spot on a river and we sat there for a bit. We even ran into some cure ducklings! 


So cute :)
   Later on we took an official tour of the city. The architecture is stunning. It's interesting how many layers there are to this place. Centuries are piled on top of one another in ways they aren't here. 

Look at those gates we weren't allowed to walk trough.

     Look at the flowers on these doors. I literally have dozens of pictures of the sides of walls and things, but I won't just dump them here on everyone :p The next day was a museum day. Oxford has a bunch of really neat museums. First we went to the Ashmolean. There was tons f interesting things there. We also went to the Museum of Natural Science, which had a bunch of cool skeletons and minerals, but was super duper hot. It had a glass rood, see, so it was basically like a greenhouse. My friends and I ended up taking refuge in the Pitts River Museum which is underground and attached. It's filled with, like, shrunken heads and stuff.  Somehow we lost one of our friends in there, which is hard to do because both museums are tiny. So we spent like an hour looking for her until we were just like 'eh. whatever.' and left her to fend for herself (she was fine). 

     All of that was fun, but the best parts were really just wandering around. A large group of us found a really eat ice cream shop that had some amazing flavors (they had butterbeer flavored ice cream guys, butterbeer), then we all wandered and ate it outside of a scenic graveyard (where my friend cut her foot and neglected to disinfect the cut, but more on that later). Oxford is an amazing place to be, with some really interesting things to do. It's an amazing experience to be able to go somewhere and live there (however briefly) and then maintain a weird sort of connection to that place. I saw a photo-set recently of pictures of Oxford streets, and it was amazing to be able to say 'Hey, I know where that is! I've been there! I ate there! Oh my gosh, I've lived a part of my life in this place!' And that's really the thing that stuck out to me most these first few days there. 

The Ashmolean

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