Sunday, 4 January 2009

A Walking Tour of Oxford

On 23 December, we took a walking tour around Oxford with a very knowledgeable guide called Maureen. The tours start at the Oxford Tourist Information Centre in Broad Street and take you around a couple of the colleges (depending which are open) and take about 90 minutes.

Oxford is home to Oxford University which is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The university itself is made up of 38 independent colleges and can trace its roots back to the 12th century.

This was my second visit to Oxford (the first visit was in 2005 to visit the lovely Tender Hooligan). I have to say though, it most definitely won't be my last visit. There is just so much history there that my poor, flu-addled brain could not absorb during the walking tour and I also want to go back and trace my steps through Lyra's Oxford. Mostly, I just want to visit the aforementioned hooligan again!

Jesus College OxfordJesus College Oxford

Future visits aside, here are the highlights from this visit.

The Chapel, Jesus College Oxford

The Chapel, Jesus College, Oxford

We started off at Jesus College which was founded by Elizabeth I in 1571. The most famous Jesus alumnus was T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and perhaps the most interesting alumnus Pixley ka Isaka Seme, founder of the ANC.

 

Exeter College (2)Exeter College

The next college we visited was Exeter College. This college definitely had more exciting alumni including J.R.R. Tolkien and (gasp) Philip Pullman!

The Gardens of Exeter HallThe Gardens of Exeter Hall, Oxford

Exeter College had the most beautiful gardens and from those gardens we saw the building that featured in the Harry Potter films as the divination class. Last time we came to Oxford we went to Christ Church College and saw the dining hall and stairs from Harry Potter.

Where the divination class was filmedWhere the Divination Class in Harry Potter was filmed
Exeter College, Oxford

Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries at about this point and for the first (and only) time on our road trip I did not have spares handy! Definitely another reason to go back to Oxford some time soon!

Radcliffe Cinema OxfordRadcliffe Cinema, Oxford

 
I loved this lovely old building! It was built between 1737 and 1749 and used to house the Radcliffe Science Library. These days it is part of the Bodleian Library and holds books from the English, history and theology collections.

The Radcliffe Cinema OxfordRadcliffe Cinema, Oxford

After our visit I felt such a strong desire to study in a wonderful place like Oxford. The one thing that attracted me was the style of study. In South Africa, our primary mode of study was attending lectures in massive lecture halls with 400 or more other students. We were given generic reading packs to study and a choice of four or six essays to submit each term. Our guide explained to us that the teaching at Oxford is far more individual and based on a tutor / student relationship. It gives meaning to the term "reading for a degree". Could that really be? That sounds ideal to me - a far better experience than my days at Wits! *Sigh* Who am kidding? Studying makes me miserable. I am not sure I'd want to study another degree!

8 Comments:

iWalk 6 January 2009 at 06:59  

I had applied a chance to deep study Publish at Oxford Brookes 5 years ago. But I lost the chance because of an accident,I had to lie in bed for months then.

That school is also in Oxford area, that's always my dream place.

iwalk@iwalku2

Stefan Petersen 7 January 2009 at 21:03  

While I've spent some time in England, I never had a chance to make it to Oxford. Thanks for sharing your trip and pictures. (Even though it makes me want to go again.)

Stefan.

Jodi 8 January 2009 at 14:12  

Absolutely beautiful Emm. I hope all is well with you.

Jodi

Emm 15 January 2009 at 10:02  

@ iWalk: Oh no! What a lost opportunity! I hope you get the chance to go again one day.

@ Stefan: Hiya, you're from I Live Here Now aren't you? Your blog is fantastic and I think your new layout rocks. And don't worry - your blog makes me more and more determined to move to Australia every day!

@ Jodi: Thank you Jodi! Things are good with me but was in bed with flu and infections for six days!

Miguel 6 February 2009 at 21:20  

Hi, Emm you have a great blog, I´ve always wanted to travel to England as I´m a Britsh descendant, so I like this kind of blogs.

Emm 7 February 2009 at 11:31  

@ Miguel: You have a great blog too! I would love to visit Argentina. Were your parents or grand parents English?

hitesh 22 July 2009 at 11:32  

Hi, Emm you are having a wonderful blog, actually right now i am studying in india but my its my dream to study in england, I saw your blog and that is superb really, the photos of the great Oxford, are wonderful. bye bye and Take care.

Emm 5 August 2009 at 15:26  

@ Hitesh: Thank you for visiting and thanks for your comment! England is a great country - you should keep chasing your dream.

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