Today was the most fun I've had on this trip yet. After a morning filled with lectures about library science theory and instructions on how to use the complicated library catalog in Oxford, we were able to roam free about the city. The Ashmolean Museum was a treat to explore, displaying everything from ancient Egyptian pieces to a quirky collection of pocketwatches (that I was endlessly facinated with) this museum was more fun than educational. A few people in our group noted that there wasn't much actual art in the museum but I didn't mind. It was so easy to imagine the people and history behind each carefully displayed piece.
After the museum trip, we split into two groups. One group went to the covered markets, but Heather, Chris, and I were eager to see the gardens outside the Trinity College Chapel. This is where I acquired my two partners in crime (wink*wink). It did take us a while to actually find the location of the chapel, but once we did, there was a sign warning that it was no longer open to visitors. We started to slowly walk away and I softly mentioned that I wasn't opposed to breaking
Sculpture of Judith with the head of Holofernes
Judith was a biblical heroine who seduced in order to behead Holofernes, a terrible tyrant.
the rule and sneaking onto the "closed" campus. Soon we were all "sneaking" past the guard box and exploring the quadrangle and the chaple. There was a choir group practicing in the huge church, light streaming through the stained glass. I'm really glad we were able to stay a moment; it was surreal to be standing in this ancient church building in the somber afternoon with the air filled with harmonizing voices.
But we didn't stop our "sneaking" at that. Oh, no. I had expressed a desire to see the tree from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It's the one where Draco jumps out from and then is turned into a ferret. The tips of the tree are clearly visible from the bridge of sighs, where we went, but we couldn't figure out how to actually get to the tree. After circling the corner, we came upon New College where another sign warned that the campus was "Closed to Visitors." We began to walk away when Chris casually noted that the guard would probably not know the difference between us and the college students that attend the college. The second time we came upon the sign, we
The Ashmolean had a cool collection of unique pocketwatches. These where made in the shape of human skulls. Despite looking through a pamphlet of details, I could not determine why or for whom these were made. I imagined a dour bishop or other clergyman with this hanging at his waist.
simply continued walking. That campus was the most magical, meadow-like grounds I have seen as of yet. The buildings were old and decorative, and the trees were gnarled with swaying braches full of filmy leaves.
Later that night, we visited two pubs: The Mitre and The Wheat Sheaves. The first was more like a TGI Fridays and the second like a local dive bar, but a good time was had by all. Apparently transformed into a chain restaurant called Beefeater, the Mitre used to be a hangout for celebrities such as Paul McCartney and others.
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