A favorite Gargoyle
The famous Staircase
Today was a day to see Oxford with Jenny & Jimmy, and of course, we started with the stores!! Jenny and I spent a few hours at some of the local clothing shops. Jenny’s comment was “this store is NOT good for me”.
We walked back to the house and picked up Michael and Jimmy and headed to Christchurch College. It is one of the largest colleges at Oxford and is the building that Hogwarts (from Harry Potter) was based on and partially filmed at. I asked one of the porters which locations were used and he said “you are standing on it”. We were at the base of the stone staircase that Harry and the other first years use to enter Hogwarts for the first time. He also told us that we could tour the dining hall, which was the basis for the Hogwarts dining hall, but that the students were currently eating lunch. Michael and I went back at 2:30, but there were so many people that we didn’t spend a lot of time there. Michael (as a Fellow of Merton College) can come back anytime, so we will return when it is not so busy and touristy. When we first arrived at the college, we found we were trying to enter through the exit area and were told where the entrance was. Once the porter found out that Michael was a Fellow, we were told that “in that case, you CAN enter thru the exit!!!”.
We visited the Chapel at Christchurch. Don’t let the name fool you, it is NOT a small church. It contained beautiful stained glass and many tombs with stone portraits on the top of them. We found a plaque that Charles and John Wesley were both ordained there. I had not realized that they had both gone to Oxford.
We also walked to the Bodlean Library, but just looked around outside.
We then bought smoothies at “Boost” (something that J&J had found last year in Australia), and hurried home to watch the FA Cup Final on TV. We sat for several hours, ate lots of junk food and enjoyed the ceremony of the final soccer game of the “premier” (professional) season.
After the game, we went for a walk around Christchurch meadow, enjoying the sunny weather and the beautiful scenery. We had a look at our baby geese (from the first week we were here) and were amazed at how much they had grown. They still had the downy feathers, but had increased in size by 4 or 5 times.
Finally, we walked around Merton College and looked at a swarm of honey bees that had landed in one of the courtyards. The porters had put up a sign in the entrance to be on the watch for the bees and had placed orange traffic cones in the area so that people wouldn’t try to walk there and either hurt or get stung by the bees.
There was a sundial in the courtyard that gave the time as 5:30 when it was actually 6:30. We laughed that they didn’t change it for Daylight Savings Time!!!
I had fun taking pictures of the gargoyles on the Merton buildings…..some of them are really interesting characters. Hopefully I can find a day to walk around and take photos of all of them!!
This was graduation day for some of the colleges, and we were constantly confronted by kids in black gowns (trimmed with white fur), and parents with proud expressions on their faces!!!
We ended the day by watching “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (of course) and comparing the scenes with the photos that we had taken for the day.