01 January 2012

oxford daytrip

Back from the lovely country Christmas I had, followed by a bit more relaxing, I decided to take a daytrip on Friday 30th and Oxford ended up being the destination.

The buildings there made an instant impression when stepping off the bus. I made my way to the tourist information centre and decided how to spend my day there. Then I walked back to near where I got off the bus and went in to the Botanic Gardens. The one is Oxford is apparently the oldest recorded botanic gardens in the UK.

I was a little disappointed when I first walked in but I suppose it's not really the best time of year to visit a garden. Lots of the plots were pretty bare.
I did like this bush with bright red branches. And I found some rocks that made me smile. He he. They also had some nice vegie gardens there that provided vegetables for charity meals which I thought was a cool idea. On the other side of the wall I found a bunch of green houses and after walking around a bit I realised you could go inside them. Inside was a whole range of amazing plants from all over the world. Oh the foliage! I was happily impressed.

There was actually a glasshouse called "Insectivorous". I assume all the plants in there have a taste for insects. Fascinating. There were such striking flowers as well. Bright and bold and some odd shapped ones as well as the interesting leaves. Plenty I'd never seen before. Some massive palms and I saw some cotton growing too which never seen on the plant before.

I headed back to the tourist in time to take a walking tour. I now have an insight into the crazy complicated system of the University of Oxford. It's tricky to get your head around. Under the University of Oxford canopy is 38--yes, thirty eight!--individually run and self funded colleges in Oxford. So Oxford is full of huge buildings housing students and naturally they are really old. The picture below on the top left is the University church of St Mary's. It's the building they first held university lectures and ceremonies in when they started it up in Oxford. It's also a church that John Wesley and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Caroll author of Alice in Wonderland) preached at. There also were a group of young people there who appeared to be rehearsing for a wedding. Then clockwise is a picture of me (it spat rain most of the afternoon) at the Bridge of Sighs which is apparently like one in Venice.

The other two photos have to do with the Bodleian Library which is huge! Inside, and underground for three levels, are books and books and miles more of books. The Bodleian Library has over 10 million books!! Centuries ago, Sir Thomas Bodley set up a law so that every book published in the UK one copy has to be given to this library. There's more he did too but that's all I remember. That's a heck of a lot of books. Bet he had no idea how many would end up being published here.

The above interesting building is the only college in Oxford with no students. It's All Souls and they have 'Fellows'. It's an elite thing to be a part of the fellowship of All Souls. Below is Christchurch College which is the largest one in Oxford. It also has the dining room used as the Hogwarts one in the Harry Potter films I believe.

I decided not to pay the entry fee and went back to roam the shops before finding the bus stop I needed to get back to London. It was nice to get out for a day and explore a little spot of England, even if it meant walking around in the rain.

1 comment:

Katrina Jade said...

Hello Kelly. Interesting about the library and the law that was established. Great idea to give books to the people and make them accessible. I have read the first three Harry Potter books and quite like them thus far so it maybe cool one to visit that college where part of it was filmed. I have books four and five on hold and am just waiting. Glad you enjoyed your day out.