Today started as an early day. We hopped on a coach to go to Oxford. The two hour ride was scenic, but I mainly listened to music on the way there. I saw some greener areas but also different streets of the city. It was a two hour drive, so there was plenty of time to nap and relax. Once we got to Oxford we got out and started walking around the city with the same tour guide who took us through Stratford-Upon-Avon, Tim!
We stood in front of the Ashmolean Museum while we got a brief synopsis of what was inside it. Tim informed us that there was Powhatan’s Mantle within the exhibit (He was the father of Pocahontas). I find it interesting that England holds Native American artifacts. We then walked further into the town and got to stand and look at the Martyrs Memorial. According to Tim, it was to pay homage to those who were burned for their beliefs in the town. We also walked to the former “ditch”, now a spot in the street. It is a weird x-spot of brick surrounded by the street. It seems like a disturbing thing to walk and drive over. Tim also showed us an Oxfam building, which is a company who strives to end poverty. We were walking past the different colleges and we also walked past the History of Science Museum. They actually have the chalkboard that Albert Einstein famously wrote the equation E=MC^2. We then walked past the buildings where they hold the commencement ceremonies. We then walked into the area that the library was. There were signs for us to be quiet, as it is apparently finals week for the Oxford University Students. Apparently, the library is very well stocked with original texts, as students get access to the originals. I find this to be so amazing and I wish I could see some of them for myself! Tim also talked about the intricacy of the architecture of the library square, as the further up the walls you look, the more ornate and intricate the designs get. We also walked past the Radcliffe Camera, which is basically just another room of the library. I learned that camera is Latin for room. As we traveled and saw more of the city, I specifically noticed the stones that covered some of the areas. They weren’t there for any reason other than aesthetic, but I remember thinking that they were going to make me twist an ankle. Another thing I noticed was how old and intricate the building architect was. Even the Post Office had an interesting crest and archway!
We then toured the Christ Church. We walked through the main portion of the building. They had a beautiful garden at the front. I got to the Hall Stairs and I learned that the scene in the Sorcerer’s Stone was filmed on the steps. I was so excited! I got a selfie on them and I can’t wait to go home and brag to my siblings that I got to stand where Daniel Radcliff and the other Harry Potter actors once stood. I also got to see the intricate emblems on the ceiling. It truly is a beautiful building! I also saw the dining room and the graffiti directed towards Robert Peel. I also got a sight of Tom Quad. It was magnificent and I wish I could’ve gone onto the lawn area, but we weren’t allowed. We couldn’t go into the Cathedral because there was a mass in session, so a group of us decided to take the opportunity to tour the town by ourselves! We first went to the covered market and got food at a little French place. I got an iced mocha and a vegetable samosa! I really wanted to go get tea from Whittard’s again, so me and a friend did just that! I went in and asked the worker what his favorite teas were and what he recommended. I proceeded to buy Orange Blossom tea, Covet Garden Blend tea, and two instant iced teas! We also stopped to get some Oxford gear!
After our trot around the town, we got back on the bus to see the Blenheim Palace. The art and sculptures in the Palace were amazing! I don’t think I have seen such a large collection in one place! I also took note of the quotes that John Churchill wrote to Sarah Jenyns, they are actually very sweet. We went and saw the rose garden (it sadly isn’t in bloom yet). And we also traveled through the maze (didn’t get through though). We got to walk through the butterfly garden, which was beautiful. It reminded me of the one in Texas, although the one in Texas is much larger. We headed back towards the entrance, got some ice cream, and headed back for our final night in Birmingham.