Oxford and the Cotswolds

Despite the early morning bus ride, I was very excited when we arrived in Oxford. Oxford University has been around since 1231, and its 38 different colleges (sort of like sections of the school) are made up of many gorgeous old buildings scattered around the town. 

As an avid Harry Potter fan, I was also happy to see a few of the locations where the movies were filmed. Oxford is very Hogswartish, so I can see why they used parts of the buildings in the films. This room called the “Divinity school”, is the hospital wing in the movies. 

  

Also, in Christ Church College, the great hall: 

Can you imagine eating there everyday? I want to transfer just so I can.

Even if you’re not into Harry Potter, the architecture in Oxford is just fantastic. I thought this tree that grew onto the wall was especially cool: 

Oxford has ties to literature other than Harry Potter as well. Charles Dodgson studied and taught at Christ church college where he met Alice Liddell, the daughter of the dean, and told her a story that he later published under the pen name Lewis Carroll. In fact, the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland is Alice’s father, who often consulted his pocket-watch and scurried off late for some important event. The “great hall” has a window with tiny stained glass figures from the book. 

C.S. Lewis also spent most of his adult life in Oxford, and often met up with J.R.R Tolkien and a group called the Inklings to discuss their writing at a pub called “The Eagle and Child.” 

I ate fish and chips there for lunch. 

We left Oxford and drove through the English countryside to the area called the cotswolds. It was beautiful even in the middle of winter. I’m sure it’s absolutely gorgeous in spring. This is Tolkien’s shire. 

We stopped in a little town called Bourton-on-the-water which was adorably picturesque with lots of little shops lining the streets and a thin river winding through the town. We only stayed for an hour. Today Carolyn’s pastor, Pete, told me that being in the Cotswolds for an hour is like listening to the first bar of Beethoven’s 5th, which I thought was a great simile. I would have loved to explore more. 

So my new life plan is to move to Oxford and meet a smart British boy and then settle down in the English Countryside. 

This week was also fun because Carolyn and RJ were helping out with mission week at UCL, which is right down the street from me, so I got to see them almost every night.