Monday, February 27, 2012

The Isis

As promised, here are the photos I took while wandering down to check out the Oxford University rowing on Saturday.

Oxford Comma

On Saturday I got up bright and early to jump on a bus to Oxford. I had no problems getting up at the crack of dawn this time because Oxford is a trip I've been looking forward to for a long time. In spite of the hideous weather we've had in Manchester, Oxford delivered the vitamin d in the perfect dose. It was also nice to have a blue backdrop for my photos instead of the usual grey/white.

I thought I liked Stratford but that little town has nothing on Oxford. It is beautiful and definitely tops my list of favourite places I've visited so far. I can definitely see myself living here - or even better, studying here.

The bus ride took 3 and a half hours so we only got about 5 hours to explore, even less after we did the guided tour that was included in the days ticket. Unfortunately this meant I didn't get to go into any of the colleges which, I'm not going to lie, killed me a little bit. I've had a list of colleges I wanted to see for quite a while, but I had to make do with exteriors. I can't believe the below shot is the only one I got of the front of Christ Church, and it is ruined by a bus and tourists. Lame. I have to say, I'm pretty happy with the rest of my shots especially considering most of them were rush jobs.

Christ Church
The back of Christ Church
Being a tourist outside Christ Church (read: pretending I go here)
This is the visitors entrance to Christ Church college and believe it or not, the windows you see are actually the windows of student accommodation. The building was built in 'Venetian' style because apparently the fields (out of shot, to the right of the photo) have a tendency to flood and the architects believed it could resemble Venice.

The Radcliffe Camera - probably my favourite building of the day
The Radcliffe Camera is used as a reading room for Oxford students - I can think of worse places to study. 
The Bodleian Library courtyard
Being something of a Harry Potter nerd, I can tell you that this library was used in the films. Unfortunately I didn't get to do a tour inside. 
The Bodleian library entrance to the Divinity School
The Divinity School
Oxford playing fields
These are the university's playing fields (there are more the right, our of shot). The colleges in the background are Magdalen College (with the tower) and Merton College on the far left. 
Corpus Christi

Entrance way to Merton College
Bridge of Sighs

Sheldonian Theatre
The Sheldonian Theatre is where the graduation ceremonies are held.

Christ Church courtyard

I also have a few photos of the Isis that I took on our walk down to see the rowing but I'll post them separately to avoid photo overload.

Overall, I had such a lovely day and I'm dying to go back in Spring.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This is the Modern Way

I posted over here yesterday about the Kaiser Chiefs show last Saturday. Go and have a gander. I promise the photos are better than the Snow Patrol ones.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old Bill's Town

On Sunday the 12th of Feb I got up at a hideously uncivilised hour to jump on a bus bound for Stratford-upon-Avon. Unfortunately the weather was a disappointment; it was cold enough that there was still snow on the ground and a heavy fog followed us for most of the day. Nevertheless, I fell for this cute little town and am almost certainly heading back in Spring.

The tour was organised by the International Society and our ticket included entry to three Shakespeare houses. Sadly, Anne Hathaway's cottage was not included as it is a little way out of town. We did a hop-on-hop-off tour in the morning so we got to see the outside of the cottage at least, but sadly I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get any decent snaps. To make up for it, I went camera-crazy the rest of the day.

The only shot of Anne Hathaway's cottage I managed to get.
Mary Arden's Cottage

Mary Arden's Farmhouse

This is the back of Mary Arden's farm which is still used. Poor sheep, must have been freezing.

Definitely the best lampost I've ever seen
Holy Trinity Church and Shakespeare's burial
Hall's Croft
The Avon

Couldn't take photos inside any of the houses unfortunately but the back of Nash's house and gardens looks something like this...

Tudor buildings

The last stop of the day was to Shakespeare's Birthplace. Only part of the original house is still there but they've set up a museum called The Shakesperience. As tacky as the name is, the museum was pretty cool. 

The museum ends with a hall of fame of actors who have taken on Shakespeare's roles. Joseph was definitely the best one.

In spite of the weather, it was a really lovely day. I can only imagine how pretty the town is during spring.