30 October 2014

Next Stop... Oxford, England!

Queue me up for a day in Oxford! I wanted to see how the other half study, I was so starstruck because it was a regal university city. Home to the oldest university in the English speaking world the University of Oxford surely stands above the competition! Unknowingly, Oxford's grand libraries and institutions showed me a few Harry Potter filming locations. 

Like my usual pre-trip routine I didn't do much research for my day in Oxford but I found the Bodleian Library to check out. Rocking down to Oxford from Wolverhampton didn't take too long so I made it to the library within enough time to book up a tour. Might I say Oxford, you look amazing for a medieval city! I prefer to visit places that have an element of danger but Oxford's regal flare impressed me much! A students paradise? Only if you have the money for it honey! Back to Bodleian, returning for my tour that afternoon I was ready to catch a glimpse at the bookshelves of yesterday. First opened to scholars in 1602 this vintage house of books could only be accessed if one had a masters degree! I was astounded because I've only got a undergraduate degree but that was in the 1600's. Religion affected this aged library, precious materials were destroyed by King Edward VI in 1550. The shade!

Photography was strictly prohibited in the upper library to my dismay but I took knowledge from the tour, we have a history to be immensely proud of in England so let us teach and prosper from it. Every cloud has a silver lining, investing financially was Sir Thomas Bodley who had been a informant for Queen Elizabeth I and wanted so badly to help the library recover from its trouble. Replenishing the books and materials and working towards a larger extended space of learning. Under new rules the books were not permitted to leave the library, even royalty were denied to take books from the Bodleian Library. I didn't do much academic reading whilst at university but the stature of the Bodleian Library would put the pride back into the books, I need that masters degree first. Housing sculptures, manuscripts and much more this Oxford library is a wealth of knowledge. Talk's cheap but the oldest artifact is a Egyptian marriage certificate dating back 2,000 years! Big up Bodleian! 

Who said Harry Potter? From the Bodleian Library I checked out Christ Church College and Cathedral to find myself in the Great Hall that was featured in the Harry Potter films. Opened in 1546 this college has been teaching Oxford's elite since the break of light, something told me that you would need some serious student funds to pay the tuition fees at Christ Church. To have your own Cathedral at uni? That's crazy Oxford! Without a shadow of a doubt the feel of the Great Hall and main courtyard had a feeling that wouldn't of suited me whilst I was a university student. Don't get me wrong it was out of this world but I was born with no silver spoon! Essentially, Christ Church sets the tone for Oxford due to its remarkable architecture but give me back the Maltings. Take what you want from Christ Church, it is quite bizarre to think I've seen the Great Hall from Harry Potter up close and personal. Yes Oxford!

Making my way around Oxford I felt a quintessentially English feeling with the bicycles passing through the city centre roads it really didn't feel like a conventional city. Famous for its university and colleges this South-Eastern city of education has taught some of the greats including Oscar Wilde and JRR Tolkien. I suppose great people deserve exceptional universities? Away from the universities and colleges of Oxford I couldn't helped loving the open green spaces of the Christ Church Meadow as it merged with the winding streets of the city. Choosing to have a pub lunch for my dinner I didn't waste any time for I only had a few hours in Oxford to see as much as possible. An international honey pot? Yes, like London and Cambridge I saw hundreds of tourists who of a foreign nationality so that could of explained the appeal of this middle class study mecca. Correction, I haven't been to Cambridge but in the stakes of the original university cities I had to use it as a prime example. 

Did some mention punting? I didn't think so! I stumbled across the quieter side of the River Thames quite soon after my train arrived in Oxford. Being on a budget I wasn't looking to spend a whole lot because I just don't have it right now. Anyhow, I returned to the canal towpath to round of my day of discovery and historical education to be met with a serene setting that felt faraway from the tourists. After stumbling upon a sign that I saw by one the main canal bridges I learnt that Oxford benefited from the canals, being located close to the beginnings of the River Thames may have helped trade be navigated to London easier. Weather wise Oxford had served some warm temperatures with no rain, a rare sight for the October that we've experienced so far in the West Midlands. Canal or no canal it was lovely to take a quiet stroll past the narrow-boats, a was nice way to end the day. Choose Oxford already B! 

If you are ever short for somewhere to visit, I suggest you trust in Oxford because no one wants to be stuck in a bad circumstance. I have expressed my allegiance to my working class upbringing due to the feel of Oxford's exclusive student price tag and visual being but I'm not a hater one bit. I didn't marry the night but the afternoon I spent in Oxford showed me the wonder of a library and the lengths people would go to educate themselves. The shear passion for a place that Sir Thomas Bodley had for Oxford to invest and empower the aptly named Bodleian Library. I'm not longer a university student but I saw how the other half study within the confines of Christ Church, yes you would need more than mommy and daddy's allowance to fund that champagne lifestyle! Oh the shade! I have been saved a visit to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter tour because I saw two filming locations that day in Oxford. You're next stop should be Oxford! Thanks for educating Oscar Wilde! 

No Shade Oxford! 

Joseph Harrison

6 comments:

Rouge S said...

Seriously looks just like Harry Potter

Joseph Harrison said...

True that Rouge! Talk about a cool film set?!

Bunmi Afuye said...

OHMY Gosh, that's just like a dream. you make me want to visit now even though i have no one to visit. :( i'm glad you had fun!

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Joseph Harrison said...

It was lovely yes, thank you for your comment! Independent travel is just how I do ...

Rebecca said...

I live in Oxford but don't think I actually appreciate it since I've grown up here. You should definitely go punting if you come back here :)

Joseph Harrison said...

Good point ... If I get to Cambridge anytime soon I'll go punting there, got to get another University city in ... Great day out though away from the West Midlands! Thanks for commenting Rebecca! Joseph :)