Got a fast train to Oxford today – took about an hour. Got there and booked myself a hop-on hop-off bus tour around the city centre so I went up the top again and looked around the Oxford city sights with the audio commentary. It was amazing – every building was magnificent – all stone with engravings. Its cool how the uni is not one area but spread around the whole city. In a street there will be shops, apartments, cafes and then a huge big stone building which is for instance the school of geography and then a block up will be an enormous college for uni accommodation.
Once I had done the whole round trip I got off and walked to the info centre and picked up a pile of brochures and sat down in a cafe and planned what I wanted to see while I was here. My first stop was to the Old Bodleian Library where I went on a tour of the building. We were allowed to go into the Divinity school which is the room they used in Harry Potter as the hospital. I loved all the engravings on the ceiling – apparently all coat of arms depicting those who had supported the building.
There weren’t any books held there – they are all in the New Bodliean Library. They said that they need to find 2kms of extra shelving each year as its a copyright library which means it gets given a copy of every single book published in the coutry!! So they have them stored underground. Got showed the Claredon Building and the Radcliffe Camera buildings – both equally amazing and then I went to the special exhibition of the making of the King James Bible. It was really interesting and showed the process of translating it. It had some really old texts and Bibles on display – including the one surviving copy of the forty Bishops’ Bible which was given to the translators. In the margins it is marked with suggestions and alterations, word changes etc. They were amazing to see – I was surprised at how big they were (at least A3 or bigger in size and so thick) and how they have such old copies (I think the oldest one in English was around 1370).
I then checked into the YHA and then walked down and had some dinner – then bought a ticket to ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ a play put on by the Oxford Shakespear Company (even though it was written by Oscar Wilde) It was an outside performance held in one of the massive gardens at Wadham College. I love the movie and really enjoyed the performance, I’m so glad I went – it was a very entertaining night. I went early and reserved a seat in the front row. It finished around 10pm by which time it had gotten dark so I caught a taxi back to the hostel. It was one of those black cabs which are in all British movies. Tried to get internet working but couldn’t work it out, stayed up and was listening to the news which was all about the riots.