And now we’re in Oxford!
I know I say I love every city I went to, but Oxford was one that lived up to every storybook fantasy I had of gorgeously old architecture and utter British-ness (my childhood books were pretty idealistic, admittedly). Of course I couldn’t cover the entire city, but every area I passed was almost straight out of a postcard whether it was the centre of town or the quiet streets of houses.
The first stop was the Oxford University Press (we had to fulfil the educational part of our trip). There was a little museum inside that chronicled the history of print at Oxford; the collection of old books and tools were a pretty interesting exhibition to walk around.
Like this big Bible and mini Bible! I wish I could’ve leafed through the pages (and thumbed through the little one) but they were all kept in glass. For obvious reasons, I know, but still
And then I had a go at this printing press, which was a lot heavier than expected (but made for a good photo op). The museum guide showed me how to do it without losing my fingersSpeaking of the guide, he had the most perfect, deep, gravelly voice that was straight out of a film trailer…just had to throw that in.
Following the museum visit was a little shopping time on Cornmarket Street and the area around it. I was in an extra touristy mood that day and determined not to leave Oxford without getting a college T-shirt or sweater, so popped into one of the souvenir shops to get one. The hoodies were hugely tempting—I was already en route to the till until I suddenly reflected on the rationale of bringing a thick wool-lined jacket back to my fever-hot country.
I got a T-shirt in the end.
In my quest for a souvenir to impersonate an elite college student at home, I sacrificed my eating time and had another sandwich for dinner. This was one from Pret A Manger, which I completely adore and wish I could import back here
As for breakfast the next morning…
Really. Of all places.
To be fair, the meeting point of our walking tour of the city was outside McDonald’s on Cornmarket Street, so it was convenient to bundle everyone there for an early breakfast and make sure we were on time.
Still I generally avoid fast food, and I don’t like meat much (except for fish). I was hoping for at least a little saving grace in the form of a fish fillet—but everyone got a McMuffin so I took out the entire patty and ate the rest. I’m sorry, meatBut anyway, it was still a decent breakfast because I like English muffins (sans patty).
After breakfast we went on our walking trail! It was honestly one of my favourite parts of the entire ten-day trip. This is where I discreetly sing praise of my own selfless love for Oxford…because it rained for the entire two hours we walked and I’d forgotten to pack an umbrella and jacket. But I still loved it.
Our guide for the day (who was handsome, eloquent and every bit the quintessential Oxford graduate) led us around the vast campuses and told endless stories about the college traditions and history. It was a bit like walking around with C.S. Lewis.
Speaking of C.S. Lewis, we saw the lamp post that inspired him to write the Chronicles of Narnia, and the places he spent time at in Oxford. I may as well have been in Narnia.
We also took a walk past Christ Church College, the home of Alice in Wonderland. I would’ve taken lots, lots more pictures but each time I took my camera out my fingers got one step closer to frostbite. Once the tour was over I ran straight to Starbucks for a desperately needed hot chocolate
Despite the rain and wet sweater and freezing wind, I had a glorious time at Oxford seeing all the grand places and hearing the stories that came from behind the walls. The tour guide did a great job keeping us all interested
We said goodbye to Oxford, and went for a side trip to Bicester VillageIt’s an outlet mall with little houses of designer brands, of which most were too fancy for me to buy. Even the bathrooms came with luxury hand cream.
I didn’t mind not shopping because it was fun just to walk around the village
But there was a Cath Kidston store packed with all its girly floral goodness, so I bought an apron and kitchen mitten back for my mom! They’re matching with a pink strawberry pattern, which my mom likes a lotThe only thing is she still hasn’t quite gotten round to using yet; it’s become more of an ornament that she displays on our dining table.
Some quick pictures of my time in OxfordCaptioned (from left to right) Finally found that red phone booth of tourists’ dreams, Most valuable lamp post in the world, and My name has just been Starbucks-ed.
Next post: London!