Monday, October 5, 2009

Final Oxford images and that's a wrap.

I'm really glad I got to see Oxford before I had to leave England. Here are some final images.

Lots of alleys, sidestreets, and hidden places to explore in Oxford.

Chairs in the lobby of the Oxford Castle Hotel.

A hallway in the old castle prison. The doors in the hall are to small cells. The gift shop at the end of the hall probably wasn't there at the time.

Lunch at Piemasters, a fast-food place in a busy indoor market, in downtown Oxford. I had the Chicken of Aragon with potatoes, gravy, and mashed peas.

We met Lynn, Robin's former tutor at Merton College, at the college where she teaches full time, Regent's Park. Robin and Lynn walk through the school's quad on the way to Lynn's office.

The Regent's Park quad.

We could use a few of these in downtown Santa Fe.

We stopped at The Randolph, a 5 Star hotel, to have a cider. This guy claimed to be a musician (an organist, I think) who'd just been recognized and cheered at some event. Besides being cheered, he was also drunk as a skunk, alternately spewing BS and almost falling asleep. As you can see, he invited himself over to our table. He tried to leave without paying for his drink, which he just snatched off the tray of a passing waiter. When the bartender insisted that he had to pay for his drink, he wrote a check but the writing was totally illegible scribbles.

Cider at the Randolph.

The Randolph Hotel.A TED conference was held here a couple of summers ago while Robin was studying at Merton College. She ran into some long-time Mac friends who were in Oxford for the conference.

William Herbert watches over the Bodleian Library.

The building where Oxford graduates get their degree has a circular courtyard, surrounded by busts with almost cartoonish faces. We'll have to ask Robin to get the inside story on this one.

All of the busts have bugged out, popping eyes, and mouths agape. Very cool indeed.

Farewell to Oxford, now one of my favorite college towns.

Ivy at Regent's Park College.

More Oxford

Tudor style - downtown Oxford.jpg
Oxford is actually a time travel portal. Sometimes you can see through the thin veil of time that - hey look!

cemetery & bicycles.jpg
Cemetery and bicycles.

Robin enters the Bodleian Library courtyard.

Entrance -to-Bodleian.jpg
The statue on the other side of the courtyard is William Herbert.

Around the courtyard perimeter are doors, entrances to different areas of knowledge. This door is labeled SCHOLA METAPHYSICAE.


You've heard of The Ivory Towers of Academia? This is them. Really. I'm not kidding.

Oxford Castle.jpg
Oxford Castle dates back to around 1100. It later became a prison, and now a luxury hotel. Some parts of the castle and prison are left as they were for tours. Most of the rooms are now hotel rooms.

Oxford - Universities Galore

Oxford is a fascinating place. I'd imagined a sleepy little village with some ivy-covered towers. Instead, imagine a small town with approximately 40 universities, world-renowned libraries and museums, and street crowds that look like a busy day at Disneyland. Robin says it's good to be here now, because it really gets busy in the summer. This is the Friday before classes start, so lots of students are just arriving.

Universities grew rapidly here starting in 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.

Ye olde downtown street scene.

Another ye olde street scene.

Ye olde Oxford mother with children.

From the bus window: ye olde tavern.

One of the lanes that connects a maze of small cobblestone streets, near Merton College, where Robin has attended summer classes.

William Herbert, son of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke. This statue is in the courtyard of the world-famous Bodleian Library.

The dining hall at Merton College. Looks kind of Harry-Potterish, doesn't it? Robin has had many meals here at Hogwarts - I mean Merton College.