We set for Oxford, the education hub of United Kingdom the next day. Oxford is accessible by train or by bus from the center of London. In fact, there are various day trips organized by professional tour agents. They pick from central London and after the completion of the trip drop at the same place. The trip might cost you $52 per person excluding lunch. Touring the city bustling with International students was really fun. Moreover, summer is the best time to visit places of interest in Europe.
While entering Oxford, my eyes caught series of the cycle by the roadside which the students use to move around. In fact, there is no single university, but a group of colleges under the same University. We opted for a walking tour and passed around the famous Trinity College, Keble College, Balliol College, Wadham College and many more.
The Trinity College: The holy college of Trinity founded by Sir Thomas Pope in 1555 is the target for many International as well as students based in the UK. The college was an all-male one till 1979 and then became a co-educational one. Various movies were filmed over here including the Brideshead Revisited, Last Enchantments, Lewis and Endeavour. It’s a medium-sized college over a spacious site in the city and enjoys harmonious relation with the student and teacher. The college is located in the main entrance of Broad Street and at a stone throw distance from Bodleian Library.
Keble College: This College was established in 1870, as a monument to John Keble. The original teaching of the college was theological but the college reflects a wide range of subjects presently that reflects the diversity of degrees. After the Second World War, the trends of the college were towards science subjects. The college has four squads- Pusey, Haywards, Liddon, and Newman. The brick complex was designed by Butterfield. The college has approximately 425 undergraduate and 246 graduate students. The college offers a supportive environment that enables not only academic excellence but also supports music, sports, and drama.
Balliol College: This College was founded in 1263, and it’s one of the constituent colleges of Oxford University of England. The college alumni have three former prime ministers. Noble laureates, numerous philosophical and literary figures once highlighted the benches of the famous college. In 1979, the college accepted the admission of women in its premises. We saw the front quadrangle and garden quadrangle. We were taken through the dining hall, the long stretch if tables and chairs where the genius was once seated to have meal and chit chat with fellow students.
|Spotted the Mathematics department|
We passed through the famous museum road and various departments that were scattered all over the city. Students who are regular visitors are quite versant with the buildings. We saw both professors and students used cycles for communication.
There are regular tours for tourists over buses that read ‘Oxford tour’. In fact, the city was vivacious with students, tourists, and teachers. We were lucky to see some students dressed in graduation gowns.
|The museum of natural history has much to explore|
Oxford Museum of Natural history: We entered the Oxford Museum of Natural history where we were taken through an invaluable specimen of 4.5 million years of the history of the earth. I was just amazed to see the skeleton of dinosaur towering over my head, the label read ‘Iguandon’ and ‘T- Rex’. These must have been enormous creatures that dominated the world in pre-historic times. I posed with my grinning face over the closely similar ‘T–rex’ supposing it could have been my sister once upon a time. The first dinosaur that was described by scientists were Oxfordshire’s Megalosaurus. We experienced the evolutionary history of fish, birds, reptiles, mammals and even more. We were taken aback by the display of whale striking from the walls. We went to see the British bird display on the first floor.
|Dinosaur head to imagination|
We got an opportunity to see how the minerals were formed beneath the earth surface, stratified in the quarries. The paleontology section had wonderful collections of fossils around the world. The area is a rich source of marine fossils starting from the late Jurassic to the middle ages. There was the presence of 20 touchable specimens that included animal skulls, fossils, and snakeskin.
It was an exciting tour to experience the remains of various prehistoric species.
The Bodleian Library: Libraries of Oxford are amongst the most celebrated ones in the world. Some of them are known to be from during the middle ages. The Bodleian Library group were attached to faculties, and it’s been a legal deposit over 400 years. It has a deposit of over 12 million items. Situated in Broad Street, it has a collection of books, newspapers, journals, magazines, maps, prints, drawings and manuscripts. There is a special occasion to be a reader of the library. The venue is open for various exhibitions and other events. Only the people who are affiliated to a college, department of Oxford University receive membership for Bodleian Library. Reader’s cards are not available to anybody.
Radcliffe camera: The Radcliffe Camera is a dome-shaped building of Oxford University, which was designed by James Gibbs and built in neoclassical style during 1737- 49. The word camera comes from the Latin word denoting ‘room’. It’s house to the Radcliffe library. The building was named after Radcliffe, who’s the most successful physician of England. The easiest way of accessing Radcliffe Square is from High street, besides the St. Mary Virgin church. Spending a few pounds, it’s possible to climb the tower to a platform above Radcliffe square.
Bridge of sighs: the bridge is a link between the old and new quadrangles of the Hartford College. The architect of the structure was Sir Thomas Jackson. It’s supposed to have similarity with the Bridge of sighs of Venice.
Church of St Mary virgin: This is situated on the northern side of the high street. The best part of this church is that it allows a north view straight to the Radcliffe.
The ghost tour of Oxford: As I passed the city, a hoarding attracted me which read’ guided ghost tour’. Well, for some people who are adventurous enough, this can be a golden opportunity. Well, the tour costs 12£ per person and it starts at 6:30 in the evening. A guide wearing a mask will take you through the nooks and corners of the city which are believed to be haunted. The tours generally start from the gate of Trinity College in Broad Street. Well, you will be taken through the dark chapters of history that reins in the walls of the colleges. These are the stories of agony, horror, torment as well as terror.
If you are lucky you might be a shadowy figure while whizzing past (although it’s a matter of belief). Well, I feel this is just a marketing gimmick and a policy to attract tourists. But, all you see if what you believe. So, if you have an open mind and heart, you will definitely love to explore the opportunity of meeting some English ghosts.
The souvenir shop: You will come across numerous souvenir shops across Oxford. You may shop various displays that include fridge magnets and oxford accessories. You may buy glasses and mugs with printed oxford icons, as well as buy hoodies, keyrings, pens, spinner bell, mugs, and T-shirts.