So after a week in Oxford, I can say I feel considerably smarter. And yes, I will admit everytime I punched in the door code to get into the college, I’d be smug about it. We got our own dorm rooms at Univ, arguably Oxford’s oldest college (there’s 39 of them total). Since they want to maintain the historical integrity of the building, the dorms rooms are stuck wherever you can fit them—as a result, some kids got hobbit holes with low ceilings and others got rooms that looked like hotel suites with bay windows. I was lucky enough to get a room in the corner overlooking the library and a little quad. I had a couch in my room also, with a sink and a huuuge desk. Didn’t bring my laptop to get the full studious-collegiate-you-know-Oxford-experience. We were served breakfast and lunch everyday in the Great Hall, which looks like the exact one from Harry Potter. There were portraits of scary old men glaring at you as you ate, but nothing could diminish from the taste of British bacon.
And of course another bucket list-er was achieved!
Punt on the river.
For all of you that don’t know, punting is basically steering a flat rickety boat with a long pole—that’s it. No oars and it tips easier than a canoe. I volunteered to start us off! Granted, I secured the lead by crashing into other people’s boats but hey, what can you do right?
The most rewarding part of the day was not falling out of the boat! Switching punters was the challenging part…as the boat sits extremely close to the water and rocks with the slightest shift in weight.
Oxford was an amazing little slice of a city filled with little shops that cater to the students—a four level bookstore, cafes with cheap fare, collegiate wear and sketchy clubs. There was a burrito place that played American music–don’t judge me, burrito withdrawal is a serious problem. We did visit The Eagle and the Child, a pub that C.S. Lewis and Tolkien used to frequent. I didn’t exactly catch inspiration to start writing my papers or anything….but it was a good effort, right? We also saw the famous shrunken heads at the Pitts River Museum! Incredibly creepy but AWESOME.
The highlight of the tourist-y things we did….yes, get ready for it….I climbed the Harry Potter staircase. Yessir.
For those of you that are not Harry Potter fans. First of all, you need to evaluate the direction your life is going. Second of all, this is the staircase that the first-years waited on to be sorted. Remember when Draco first introduces himself to Harry? The very same. It’s in Christ Church, which is a college in Oxford as well as an actual church. We weren’t allowed to walk on the lawns and the “helpers”/tour guides wore bowler hats and cute little suits.
The last night of Oxford was lovely. We were served a super fancy dinner in the Great Hall with our teachers, (truffle soup to start us off with!!), dressed “smart” and played pool with the Brits in the Univ bar afterwards.
In other words, Oxford was a successful mini-trip in the grand scheme of my big trip. I’d definitely be interested in going back, and highly recommend it!