Sunday, March 8, 2009

Europe Revisited- Part Two- Oxford

Before reading Part Two, make sure you check out part one HERE, to learn more about the first leg of my trip in Western Europe.

Directly after London, we made a pit stop at the British version of colonial Williamsburg, sans revolution. It was a castle! Warwick castle was this gigantic castle that you got to walk through, see different exhibits, in and out of a dungeon, into bedrooms and dining rooms, and back out into the courtyard to see exhibitions of bow and arrow contests, farming, and clothes making. It really was a neat place to stop in at. I am not sure if the site is just a mock up, or what, but it looked pretty pristine!

A little intimidating, to say the least!

The castle, and the inner courtyard. The property was immense! Gorgeous as well!

Here is where my camera messed up for a while. It read sunlight as a pinkish hue, made everything seem very strange. A neat shot though, right?

The River/stream, on the outside walls of the castle. Camera was still messing up here.

Kristina and I got to try out the helmets! I don't really know what kind these are, but they look like conquistador helmets instead of knight helmets!

Next, we hit the road, for Oxford, England. Home to one of the world's most renown universities, and also home to my favorite authors (C.S. Lewis and Tolkien!) We went on a walking tour of Mary Magdalene college (pronounced Mary Maw da lin, instead of Magdalene, to differentiate the college from Cambridge's Mary Magdalene college.) Then we went on a little hike, although this was NO ordinary hike. We (with our awesome tour guide, Ralph,) went on the very path the Lewis like to hike to think, and there, on that path, is where Lewis and Tolkien had theological discussions! AHHHHH! I was so psyched. Um, but I have no pictures of that, haha. Too excited to photograph.
Also, before I forget to mention it, we graduated at Oxford that day. You see, our program was three years long of intensive training and life changing leadership skill development. Then, when we got to Oxford, it was graduation day for them! They were jubilent, running around, throwing their caps in their neat gowns. Then, we sat down for our OWN graduation from Student Leadership University! Right at Oxford! Wow, it was an incredible honor. Now, whenever I make up my resume, in "additional information/certification" I always include this statement:

Graduate from the Student Leadership University at Oxford University, England in 2006.
haha. Both organizations that hired me questioned me about this and were very impressed with the Oxford part, even IF I didn't actually gradaute from, but rather at Oxford!

One building in Oxford's Mary Magdalene College. Beautiful, isn't it?

Inside one of the chapels.

Beautiful carvings on one wall in the chapel.

Walking through the school, this is one of my favorite pictures. I can just image Lewis and Tolkien pausing here, to discuss different issues.

This is the "camera," if I remember right. It's called that, because of how many angles light can enter the building from. In Oxford, right outside of this little pub.
We paused outside of the pub, where our guide told us that this was the pub that Lewis and his fellow intellectual friends, dubbed "The Inklings," would gather for a pint, haha. He then told us to take a good look around at several NEAT objects. See if you can put it all together!

A lamp post

A Lion

A Fawn.
OH MY GOSH! If you just put it together like I did, you would realize that these are all parts of Lewis' famed "Chronicles of Narnia." The lamppost was the marker for the edge of the forest and the beginning of the wardrobe, the Lion was named Aslan, and represented God, and the fawn. Oh the fawn. Usually I am not a fan of fawns. They are kinda creepy. But, this one is different. Lovable Mr. Tumnus. These were not added to the area after his fame, but were instead, around to inspire. Perhaps he walked to the pub and entered into his favorite place, welcome by the fawn and the lion. Perhaps he left it, tired, after a long day, and was "transported," home, by the light of that lamppost!

Ahhhh, after a long day, we finally found a sandwich shop and just chilled. I'm pretty positive I grabbed a baguette, and skipped the strange British sandwich meats. Too tired to be adventurous!
Next up, Paris: The city of, or hate, ya know, whatever.


katie said...

I'm really enjoying this! I have never been to Europe so it is really cool that you are sharing it with me.

I'm definitely going to have to figure out a way to go there such a thing as trip envy? haha.

Heather @ Simple Wives said...

Awesome pictures! And Paris is next up? I can't wait... :)

I tagged you on my blog!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the pictures. I love the architecture in some places over here :)

Look forward to la la!!! X.