Monday, April 26, 2010

Last Post As Oxford Tourist

Well, folks, I hope to be heading home on Thursday.  I'm not anticipating any problems.  I just plan on getting to the airport very early to ensure that I do get on my flight.  I'm sure the planes will be jam-packed as they continue to catch up on the back log caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull.  

This past week I finished seeing the colleges I wanted to see and stumbled upon a few I hadn't planned on visiting.  So, Tuesday, I was trying to find my way somewhere and stumbled upon  Keble College. The buildings are quite different from what you see at the other colleges.
As you can see, it was built with brick and there is a pattern in the brickwork made by using different colored bricks.  Continuing along that same road, I stumbled upon Wadham College.  Visitors were not allowed, but you can stand at the doorway and look in.  Wandering through some narrow roadways,
I finally found New College.  New College is anything but new, being over 620 years old!
This was one of my favorite colleges that I have visited.  The chapel was quite nice, but I especially enjoyed the cloisters. 
New College has not only a chapel, the cloisters, classroom buildings, the dining hall, and the students' rooms, but it also has a large garden.  This garden is a bit of a surprise because When you enter the college from the street it just looks like it will be a tiny little place.  The original city walls can be seen in the
garden.  The garden
itself was a beautiful, quiet, peaceful place to walk around.  

From there I had a peek into Queens College, and then on to Merton College.  I am usually pretty good at figuring out maps, but for the life of me I couldn't follow the map for Merton College!  Oh well, I did find my way out so I guess it didn't really matter. 
Here I came across some students playing croquet, quite a common site on college quads here.


On Wednesday I walked way out through a park, through a part of town I'd never been to, back over around the Cherwell River, crossing on the Magdalen Bridge and then I toured
Magdalen College.  (That's pronounced Mawd-lin).  This, of course, was on my "Have to See" list as it was C.S. Lewis'
college. In fact, this building is where he had his rooms.  Again, there were cloisters,
but not as pretty as the ones at New College. The chapel at Magdalen is quite famous as the boys' choir sings from this tower at 6 a.m. every May 1st after the students have spent the entire night before in revelry in the local pubs (kind of glad I WON'T be here!). 
Apparently this is featured in a scene of Shadowlands.  Magdalen College not only has a surprise garden/meadow right there in the middle of the city, but it also has deer in the meadow!  


From there I did some window
shopping, ending up at Whittard of Chelsea, a shop with a large variety of teas, coffees, and hot chocolate.


Thursday my legs were so tired from my six mile walk the day before that I just stayed home!


Friday was an easy day, too.  John went with his class for lunch, so I headed down town to look for some lunch for myself.  I decided to walk through the Open Market. 
Normally they only have market on Wednesday and Thursday, but Friday was an international day.  I bought myself a beautiful pair of earrings, had galette for lunch, and baklava for dessert.   Then I spent some time browsing in Blackwells Bookstore before meeting John at the Pitt Rivers Museum.  The Museum of Natural History is in the same building.
And no, I am NOT saying John is an Oxford Dodo!  The Pitt River Museum contains a lot of fascinating artifacts from all over the world.  This was one of the most fascinating.
LOL!!!!  It was in a display about recycling.  Who ever would have thought a satala would end up in a museum!???!!


On Saturday John and I went on a special date.  We walked along the Thames River walk.  This was the same walk that I did a couple of weeks ago.  We stopped and watched a boat go through the locks.  Then we had a quick look at the Godstow Nunnery.  Then we ended up at the Trout Inn.  This was our big splurge of our time here. 
Apparently the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein also ate here.  We had really gotten warmed up, hiking about two miles in the sunshine to get there.  So we chose to eat on the terrace, but by the time we got our food the sun had gone behind the clouds and it turned out to be quite chilly out there!  Our food was quite good, but we decided you pay more for the atmosphere than for the food quality.  The "pudding" was spectacular!  We walked home through the Port Meadow and petted a pony and dodged cow pies.  


And there you have it.  Probably next time I write will be from the good ol' USA.

3 comments:

podso said...

Can't believe your time is at an end there. What's next? Thanks for great photos, a good time to be there in the spring, it's all so pretty.

Dusty Penguin said...

I have fallen in love with Oxford through your posts. I have enjoyed all the beautiful pictures and have shown many of them to other people.

podso said...

I did the Dorset post for you! :-)