Hi All!

I am back in Nottingham after a successful trip to the beautiful city of Oxford.

For this post, I was planning on doing a sort of photographic journey through the city. However, due to my inability to figure out how to use my own blog, I will have to forgo this option and instead ask that you check out my flikr on the right. Some of the photos are quite beautiful and I gave each a title so that you will know what they are and where they were taken. I will try to do something like what I planned another time.

As for my trip, I believe it was a roaring success. I did not get mugged, nor did I lose my passport of wallet or spend huge amounts of money on things I don’t need. If I get away from a city without any of those things happening, I can claim that it was a successful trip.

The city itself is extraordinary. Known as the Dreaming Spires, the buildings of the University are throughout the city, meaning that there was no central campus. However, this only meant that every turn and every block seemed to have another beautiful tower, courtyard or building. Every college seemed to have their own building and many were quite old. Spires of churches dating back to the 1200’s were not uncommon and many of the buildings had a history unto themselves.

I visited the most famous college, Christ College first and it was probably the neatest thing that I did while in Oxford. The grounds and college had gorgeous architecture but what I found most extraordinary was the fact that this college is still in use as a dormitory and teaching area for Oxford. The dining hall is still used, the libraries have students in them,  and the buildings themselves were still functional for living and teaching in. Compared to Texas A&M, this is much different.

After seeing Christ College, I did a multitude of things, including visiting the pub that J.R.R Tolkien and C. S. Lewis would regularly attend, going to the cinema to see The Town (I highly recommend it.), walking around the city, eating at a South African chicken place (Nando’s, super good!) and finally once I was exhausted, I went to the hostel and crashed.

After a nice night in the hostel, I woke up early and decided that I would do the rest of Oxford in one day, instead of staying for extra night. This way, I would save money by not getting another hostel. However, this meant that I had to lug my rather heavy pack around all day, which wasn’t the best experience. It did provide for a wonderful workout as I carried it on my back for around 8 hours as I walked around the city and saw exhibits.

This final day was also graduation day for the most recent graduating class, so students in robes and very wealthy and proud parents crowded the streets and made it slightly more difficult as a few of the colleges were closed to the public because of the graduation. However, it was nice to see real Oxford students and it provided for a festive atmosphere. I saw Oxford Castle, a castle which has been around since the 1100’s and was most recently a prison. It closed in 1996 for failing to meet basic human needs. It was ranked as one of the worst prisons in England. However, it was a very cool sight, and my first castle in England! I also saw the outside of Bodleian Library, the oldest library in England housing a massive amount of books. However, tours were booked full by the time I reached it so I could not go inside. It is also where the library scenes in the Harry Potter movies were filmed!

After an exhausting day, I headed home, taking the train back to Nottingham and reaching my dorm by 8PM.

It was a wonderful trip, and I’m very excited I went there first, as it provided a great introduction to traveling and will be helpful when I visit London this weekend.

Thanks for reading, and I will try to update again before I leave on Friday!