Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Oxford

Only about an hour away by train, Oxford is a pretty easy place to visit from London. This meant that the British people that I went with had been there previously and only wanted to visit pubs. (Their view of Oxford is also that it is the school you go to if you want to go to a bunch of formal dinners and live out in the middle of nowhere. Since the school I am at is at the same level so no one complains about admittance, instead it funny that I guess I ended up at the "party school")
The meaning of Oxford apparently is the best place to get your oxen to ford the Thames river. To this end they have a large ox statue at the train station. Or course in keeping with tradition, I needed to climb on top and take my picture.
I didn't realize before we got there but there were multiple universities in Oxford. (I had been to busy to look up where I wanted to go around town, hence just tagging along with people familiar with the city.) In reality we only saw Trinity College, and Oxford University but apparently there are three others. Each department of the university has its own crest that we saw all over the city.
The thing about oxford is that it has been there for a while, so a lot of the buildings look very much the same. They all use the yellow stone, and I really like it, but when block after block looks the same it makes it easy to get lost. My favorite piece of architecture was the "Bridge of Sighs". It looked the same as the one in Venice except in yellow stone instead of white marble.
The high point of the trip was going to the Museum of Natural History. It seemed like they had as much stuff as the New York museum of natural history but only had one level to display it. Display cases would group similar looking things together even if they were from half way across the globe. I guess it is because the museum is from a time when they organized things differently.

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