Yesterday my friends and I took a day trip to Oxford. We’d heard it was worth visiting for its historic prettiness, but we were also really excited to see some Harry Potter filming locations (particularly the Great Hall) and walk in the footsteps of the many writers who studied/taught/lived in Oxford, including Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, just to name a few. Christ Church, one of the colleges within the university, is pictured below. We were very excited to see the Great Hall there….until we learned that it was closed for a literary conference. (Yes, the literary conference was really exciting to me, no we did not attend, yes I asked if we could get in, no I did not recognize any of the authors.) We tried to sneak up the steps to the Great Hall just to peek inside, but we were chased away and probably labelled as suspicious visitors.
Shortly after taking the picture below (that cloud in the lower right is looking superbly majestic, isn’t it?), we tried to walk down the little pathway in the center and were promptly chased away and probably labelled suspicious for the second time that day. In our defense, the sign was very, very small. It was straight out of The Princess Diares when Mia walks on the grass and the voice on the intercom yells at her in 5 different languages–although I feel like I have to add that we weren’t on the grass, we were on the pavement. Geez I would never even contemplate walking on Oxford grass.
Shortly afterwards, some foreboding clouds (which you can see in the upper half of the picture below, although they were definitely scarier in real life) started to roll in. We were in an especially pretty area of Oxford at this point, and chose to keep strolling despite the warning of impending DOOM that the sky was giving us. Of course, just as we got very far away from shelter……..it started to pour. I recently told my mom that it never pours here (it’s more of a constant mist sort of thing), but I was clearly mistaken.
Despite the rain, we had a great day. We found a cool and eclectic covered market, came across a chocolate festival (sorry dad, no purchases), went to the Alice in Wonderland shop, and generally marveled at the sustained beauty of the place, which is something I’ve seen so much more of abroad than back home. It really is too bad they don’t take transfers (and too bad that I’m not a genius), because I wouldn’t have objected to sticking around for a bit longer 😛