dmjewelle: (Inga grin)
D.M. Jewelle ([personal profile] dmjewelle) wrote2013-05-31 12:47 am
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[Day 6-02] Let's Walk Around Oxford (and then return to London)!

Hello, apologies and thank you for your patience. Today we hit the road to Oxford!

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I tried to take a pic of the guy in the white shirt - his hair looked like Thor's.

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The bus dropped us off near a Tesco, and we headed to Christ Church.

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Let's take in the lovely English weather (and gardens) while we're at it.

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The entrance to Christ Church Cathedral and Hall. You see the small line of people at the lower right? That is a quarter of the queue to enter. The only perk of joining a tourist group? Accelerated access! Wave mockingly to the crowd, and take the left lane through!

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A water spring. I don't think it's that old.

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Now I know what an olive tree looks like. Knowledge +1!

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This graffiti has been there since the 19th century. Now that's what I'm talking about!

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Walking through a small entrance takes us to the courtyard. Either Christ Church is too epic to photograph, or I need a better camera. You get this for now.

We entered Christ Church Cathedral, but due to the amount of tourists Tish guided us around. This isn't King's College Chapel where it is large and very roomy - the amount of artifacts on each side makes it a very narrow walk, and instead of taking pictures I'm taking great care to not knock down anything.

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This was one of two epic stained glasses - the other one removed a guy's face from the stained glass picture. Imagine pissing off a church so badly they REMOVE YOUR FACE. I'm not putting it up because the afternoon sun totally obscured the picture. This one is a more normal epic stained glass. In Oxford they paint straight onto the stained glass, so it looks darker and more like a school craft project.

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Suddenly a tomb effigy! O-O These things always tempt me into trying to pry them open...

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Saint Frideswide, who blinded a man with lightning when he wanted to forcibly marry her, then cured him when he backed off. Would you yearn for the days when God was around to school the chauvinists? First you must dream of being a nun...

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I'm no Christian, but I certainly am a sucker for church architecture.

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In fact, let's look at the ceiling again before we head to Christ Church's main hall.

Now that we are sufficiently impressed, let's head to Christ Church Hall where they filmed Harry Po-

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...apparently Hogwarts overestimated how many acceptance letters they sent out.

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Pottermore put me in Ravenclaw, so I use my smarts to get ahead of the pack!

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However the portraits of old OxWarts alumni do not approve and frown judgingly upon me.

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And thus I don't get a seat in the great hall. :(

In reality nobody is allowed to sit except for the students. You walk straight to the middle, turn around, and leave. Cattle herding at its finest.

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Here you can see 3 chairs that were bought at different time periods.

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They have buffet breakfast in the morning, and a formal dinner at night. I am very curious about their menu.

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The buttery just serves beer. There are no cows, and there may or may not be butterbeer.

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These are student quarters. You can't see here because the pic is rather small, but there were two girls smoking at the open window and probably laughing at the tourists. Oxford's student life gives me the impression people either get into Oxford easily or they get so stressed out they dress up like goths and smoke a lot to ease the pain of academia. I only say this because Cambridge students looked a LOT preppier.

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Here's my mum, Tish the guide (with sunny brolly), and the couple from North Carolina. The man REALLY reminded me of Leslie Nielsen, but good thing Leslie Nielsen's dead or I would have asked. He also spoke about a mysterious deserted settlement when the pilgrims first landed in America. Rambly old people are interesting, but I'll never understand them.

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Bill, the guy who guards the exit to Christ Church cheerfully sees the tourists out. He was a really friendly chap.

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But it's not the end yet!

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*Final Fantasy Tactics Theme plays*

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We reach the Radcliffe Camera, home of the Bodleian Library. Just my luck everywhere I go something is always under repair (see: Asakusa Shrine, Westminster Palace).

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Thankfully the conservation doesn't affect the entire building, so you can take a closer look at its roundness. The roof looks like a smiley face, and the grounds look like it could launch a giant robo-

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At first I noticed a few people running around in graduation robes but didn't care because English tradition is weird. Tish later pointed out a graduation ceremony for one of the colleges, which explained it. Mum noticed that the ceremony seemed to lack Malaysian students, but maybe they're in the other colleges or something (different colleges in Oxford have different graduation dates).

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This quad has a building to help teach students column art styles: Ionic, Doric, etc. The pillars actually correspond to the art style. Only in Oxford do you get a building that is its OWN exam tip.

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And here is Hertford College where the first part of Brideshead Revisited happened. This is specifically the Oxford Bridge of Sighs. There's nothing that details why it's called the Bridge of Sighs, though if you've read Brideshead Revisited perhaps it started when Sebastian Flyte started sighing from unhappiness.

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We walk towards Oxford Town and bump into Le Carre. This town just drips with literary references everywhere. I didn't include the Inspector Morse references because I've never read the series.

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I think anyone who can walk sober around Oxford at night and stare all the stone heads in the eye is the ballsiest person alive.

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We had an hour to grab tea, go toilet, buy souvenirs, and admire art supply stores, then we went to the meeting point. Waited for the mini coach, and headed back to London. We passed by this museum and well now there's incentive to go about town a second time...


Quite a few people voted to go to Harrods to do some last minute shopping, so the mini coach dropped us off there. Doris went to meet her cousin, so it was just me and mum at this point.

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The window displays were all 'The Great Gatsby' themed, this was the better window of the lot.

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After a week of bread, salad, and a bloody lot of chips, mum and I had a really BIG craving for rice, so we went to Harrods' food hall and looked at the asian dishes.

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But the pasta looked so tempting! ;__;

Tish said the Diana & Dodi memorial was at the Egyptian escalator at Harrods, so we took it down and-

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AAAA what an ostentatiously UGLY thing! >_<

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This is the last glass she drank from and the ring Dodi wanted to give her, lovingly encased in an Illuminati symbol. There is a fountain at the bottom of the memorial where people throw coins into it for charity. It was overflowing with money, no worries there.

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After the long period of time where there was no Dracula to defeat, the Belmonts had to find other sources of income.

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Now remember WAY back in the last entry I mentioned there was a demonstration? At 6 PM the streets were STILL closed. We got on the bus, mum's Oyster card didn't have enough so I had to pay full fare for her, and one stop later the bus driver announces he can't go any further due to the roadblocks so he prints us transfer vouchers good for one bus ride in the next 60 minutes. Since it'll take 2 buses to get back to the hotel, I didn't have enough money on my card...AND I REALLY, REALLY WANTED TO WALK THROUGH HYDE GODDAMN PARK...I decided to cut through Hyde Park to get to Marble Arch and then take the bus from there. Mum doesn't get a say in this. There's no need to sympathise with her - 80 year old ladies overtook her whereever we went.

So I save my game, and start walking!

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Walking through Hyde Park took 30 minutes. Somewhere around here mum went OH GOD I AM SO TIRED IT MUST BE AN HOUR BY NOW. Time elapsed: 15 minutes.

I took this pic just for the cute guys on the lower left bench.

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It's Speaker's Corner without speakers! Next time I'll definitely look out for them. :(

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When we first took the bus the driver wouldn't accept the transfer voucher until I told him the situation, then he chucked the voucher and told us to get in. Reached the hotel and got the concierge to heat up our dinner: Vegetarian fried rice, Thai green curry chicken, and curried potatoes & eggplant. Price: More than it's worth, regardless of taste.

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At least I got to watch the Eurovision live! One thing off my bucket list!

And that's it for the entire day! Thank you again for reading! The next two days will be a relaxing read compared to this madness.
Next up: Housecalling the English way!

[identity profile] 2013-06-01 02:45 am (UTC)(link)
"no Dracula to defeat, the Belmonts had to find other sources of income." <===== /CRYING

So much RPG references <3