Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Oxford Experience

Aside from Harry Potter like ways, Oxford had lots more to offer. I'm really glad that Dani and I had time in both Brighton and Oxford (as opposed to only London.) The two towns in which we actually stayed are so completely different, giving us very different tastes of England. While Brighton had a very modern and liberal feel to it, Oxford feels much more reserved and traditional.

Dani and I ventured some on our own while KK was in her tutorial in the morning. We did not have to go too far though to begin to see the old, intriguing buildings. I also found myself interested in an old graveyard we found in the divide between street sides. Many of the tall, tilted gravestones could no longer be read. I wish I could have read the dates on some of them--who knows how old they could be! There were even several tombs, also made of stone that looked quite ancient.img_5797

When KK was done we met her for lunch and then she needed to get to the river to race with her rowing team. We walked to the river, which was most definitely a brilliant plan. (Not that it's not what KK does every time she heads down there.) I cannot tell you how many times I turned a corner only to have my breath taken away again. It is unbelievable the structures that you find here and how magnficent they all are. The Oxford Bodeleian Library is magnificent with a massive stone quad in the center. Unfortunately for Dani, the book lover and library freak, we didn't have time to go in and it was closed by the time we got back.

(Side note: Everything closes SO early around here! Nothing but the pubs stay open past 6 p.m. Most places don't even stay open that late!)

We also passed several of the other colleges as well as the observatory, better known as "The Camera" due to the camera attention the great dome brings. My favorite though came closest to the river with Christ Church--which is actually one of the other Oxford colleges. There was one view of the college with the war memorial garden in front that I could have just gazed at for hours. I wish that could be my yard.

Watching all of the rowing teams was also fun. Dani and I decided that it almost reminded us of some sort of sorority/fraternity event with the way so many of the teams got crazy and goofy with their "uniforms." None of the teams had official school uniforms to wear but the members came up with their own clever ideas. For example, one group of girls called themselves the Pink Ladies and wore hot pink dress type things with other cute pink accessories and fancy boots. (I might add that this team did not turn out to be so good...)

Our favorite team got ready at the dock next to KK and her team. These guys were all wearing different neon colored tights and I am talking like ballet tights, not running tights. They also had neon leg warmer type things on their forearms and calves as well as ridiculous shirts. My two favorites though were the two guys who went against the flow and wore gold and silver leggings. I was pretty impressed.

KK looked really good on the river with her team...of course I do not know what to look for but apparantly they did do very well. Maybe we brought them some luck.
We finished our night by taking a quick stroll around the corner from her room after dinner to stop in at the Eagle and Child pub, which is the pub that J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to meet and hang out. We did not actually stay and hang out because the place was jam packed--their pubs aren't very wide here due to the fact they tend to build things up rather than out. I could totally see it as a place for these two guys...Looked like a place Merry and Pippen may have stopped in for a pint. Yes, I'm a nerd...forgive me. I was in Oxford mind you!

I can only post the pictures by using webshots because I already took them off my camera. To see more though just click on the pictures and it will take you to my webshots!