Monday, May 25, 2009

Harry Potter!!

So, sorry I'm horrible at updating my blog. This is a continuation of my Ireland/UK trip.

Day 11: Well, at the end of day 10, I took a bus to Oxford, checked into my hostel, and met some really cute Australians. The next morning (on the start of day 11) I started my perusal of Oxford by going on a walking tour (which I'd highly recommend to anyone with a loss as of what to do when visiting any city, not just the walking tour of Oxford) of the city, or more specifically, some of the colleges.

We visited Exeter College first, where both J.R.R. Tolkien and Phillip Pullman (author of His Dark Materials series) went to school. Shown here is the outside of the college's chapel, the college's dining hall, and a bust of J.R.R. Tolkien (sculpted by his daughter-in-law) which hangs in the college's chapel:

For any of you who may be unfamiliar with Oxford University (which is the main tourist attraction in the city of Oxford), the university is composed of colleges. Each college has their own chapel, their own library, their own dining hall, faculty, etc. and essentially functions independently of all the other colleges at Oxford. When applying to Oxford, students must choose which college they'd like to attend, and in order to be accepted to the university, they must first be accepted by a college.

And now off we head to Christ Church College, the filming location for many of the scenes from Harry Potter. First off, I give you the shot of the corridor:
Now, the very same steps on which Professor McGonagall addressed the first years:

The inside of the hall (though normally wizards don't need to be told where to walk), and I unfortunately couldn't get all four tables at once:
Next up, staff table, although you can't see it very well. And yes, this is how they actually eat at Oxford, this wasn't just set up for the movie. There really are four long tables, and the staff really do sit at the top of the hall.

And now, the enchanted ceiling:

With a view leaving the hall:
A last note on Harry Potter. I've started reading it in Spanish, and in so doing realized that I know the first book practically by heart. Because I don't need a dictionary on words that I'd probably normally need a dictionary on, because I can remember practically word for word what the English version says. And let me just tell you this right now. Although they're still super enjoyable, J.K. Rowling is definitely not as witty in Spanish as in English. Lol.

And the "Dreaming Spires of Oxford..." as seen from the top of the Oxford Castle Unlocked.

Next on my list of photos and places I went is kind of special for me. Although I didn't stop in the first time I passed it, I did decide for myself that I'd have dinner there. So, this picture is from the daylight hours. The place in question is the Eagle and Child Pub, where Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and their group called the Inklings met weekly to discuss their writing (among other things).

Later, I did stop by and had an amazing drink which had a raspberry/chocolate aftertaste called Raspberry Fool. And then, I ate a traditional meat pie, with ham, turkey, and leeks, with a side of mashed potatoes and boiled vegetables, all smothered in gravy. Delicious. All while contemplating the literary genius of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Immediately after finishing my meal, I hopped on a bus back to London. A perfect end to a beautiful day.

Day 12: I started my day out with walking along the Thames near the area of the London Eye. It was cool because there were a lot of performers, and great people watching, which is definitely one of my favourite things about traveling. Here is the London Eye:

It was hot, over-priced, and although it did provide cool views of the city, I would've much rather climbed up to the top of the tallest room in the tallest tower to find the views.

Next up I went to the Globe Theatre. I had a really good time there, and it was probably my favourite tourist attractions in London. The theatre tour was very informative, they had a super interesting exhibition, and we got to see a little bit of a theatre troupe's rehearsal of Hamlet. Incredible, it was. I really enjoyed it.

Cool thing about quoting Shakespeare. I'd recommend looking at this one close up, because it's pretty interesting.

Photo of the stage inside the Globe Theatre.
And the last thing I did while in London was go to see the musical Wicked. Because you have to see a musical while in London. I was not disappointed. The girl who played the Wicked Witch of the West gave an incredible performance, and though Glinda (or however you spell her name) the Good was a bit obnoxious and didn't have the best voice, I enjoyed watching her as well. The male lead was great, too. All in all a good musical with an interesting take on the Wicked Witch of the West.

The next morning (Day 13, technically), I slept in a little, caught a shuttle to the airport, and caught a flight home. All in all a successful trip :)

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