After lunch at our host family's house, we hopped on the bus and went back into Oxford. The different times I've been in Oxford with John, I used my time to visit the different colleges the comprise Oxford University. Poor John, though, is there to study and work hard so he had hardly seen any of the colleges. We decided to rectify that by visiting one on our last day and decided to visit one of the most well known and iconic, Christ Church College.
Most of us Americans are used to having a university all on one campus. Within that university we will have the School or College of Medicine, School of Journalism, School of Literature, etc. There are probably some universities like that in England, but many, including Oxford University and Cambridge University, have a very different structure. There are 38 colleges and six Permanent Private Halls. Each college is very independent of the others, has their own campus, and is responsible for tutorials. Lectures, examinations, laboratories, and the central library are run by the university.
Christ Church College has traditionally been considered the most aristocratic of all the colleges and dates from 1524. You may have seen glimpses of Christ Church College in one of the Harry Potter movies (I have no idea since I've only seen one or two of them!).
The day we went was a bank holiday and there were so many people who had the same idea as us! Normally on a week day there are much fewer tourists. We were also supposed to follow a certain way around to keep the high traffic of visitors that day flowing in the same direction, but it wasn't very well laid out and we got a bit confused.
First we entered the cloisters, a covered walkway.
Looking out to the cloisters' garden. Have I mentioned how beautiful spring is in England?
The cloisters led to the Christ Church Cathedral which is the chapel for the Christ Church College as well as the mother church for the Diocese of Oxford.
The next stop is the Ante-Hall, built in the 1520's. First, one must climb the staircase in Bodley Tower.
My college dining room looked a little different than this!
Notice all the tourists.
And here are two views of the college from outside. This is one of the gardens. The building in the background isn't part of the college, I don't think.
And that's it for our trip to England. I'll have one more post about our trip back to Niger.