What a great day. I think it was a fairly easy drive up to Oxford (you’d have to ask Bret to be sure about that one), then to get around the city itself you need to park and ride, so that made it world’s easier. The whole city is beautiful, and the University is sort of embedded throughout. You could definitely tell you were near and on a University campus, that seems to have the same feel no matter where you are, but the buildings and the churches- well by now we know everywhere you go in England you are going to be immersed in history. Even the McDonald’s was a quaint house converted- LOL! The cutest McD’s I’ve ever seen!
The main reason for driving up to Oxford was to get a couple more Harry Potter film locations in. Stop number one was New College, where there were more cloisters to see, but we weren’t able to get in until Thursday (can you believe we’ll be back in the states by then?), but they have beautiful gardens to walk through. The girls were in a much better mood today, and were holding hands and walking ahead of us on the path, trying to stay far ahead. We ended up letting them go around one more time by themselves while Bret and I waited. So many beautiful flowers and colors all around. After that we wandered to the Bodleian Library, where the entry room was used as the infirmary in HP #1, and it was also used in HP #4 in the scene where they are being taught to dance before the ball.
From there we found a great indoor market to grab some lunch, although we had a hard time finding something Samantha would eat. It’s hard enough at home finding food for a picky eater- in England you can double it! Eventually we found a place that would make a simple grilled cheese sandwich (though we did have to explain), and I finally got to try a potato jacket. Which was really not all that great (sorry Katie!). I keep forgetting that if you order “chicken salad”, you’re going to get simply chicken, lettuce, tomato, and no dressing at all. It was very bland, and I was very disappointed! It’s a neat idea for a food, but I know I could make them MUCH better. ;-)
After lunch we headed over the Christ Church, another stunning site. This has the staircase in HP#1 where the student’s are met by Mrs. McGonagall, and also the great hall where they ate. On another historical note, walking through the church also had many Alice In Wonderland references and points of interest. Which I thought were much more interesting, as there are references in the stained glass, and many ideas for the story came from little things on the grounds.
At this point our tour leaders were becoming grumpy, so it was time to head back to the bus and drive back to London. We had fish and chips again for dinner. It was good the first time, but didn’t have the same impact this time. I think tomorrow I’m going to try and lay off the grease. Bleh. Chips doused in vinegar however, are becoming my new favorite food!
Tomorrow is our last day to go into London and we’re going to try and get an earlier start than we’ve been getting. We’re going to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Leadenhall Market (yet another site used in HP). Then Wednesday morning will be packing it all up, getting the car back, and then tomorrow evening we fly back to Boston! The days really flew by, but I’m finding that we could have been finished at 5 days and been equally as happy. I’m starting to get that itch to begin our journey home, and back to normalcy.
(PS- I hope you will all excuse the typos throughout these posts- remember I'm writing them very late at night and I'm tired! Then rushing to post in the morning before we head out- no time for spell check!!)