Yet another school sponsored trip! This time my school offered to take us to Oxford. I was hesitant at first, worried that it would just be another college town, but some friends convinced me to go with the reasoning: “It’s Harry Potter!” I’m not that big of a Harry Potter fan (I didn’t finish the books or the movie), but knew Oxford would be gorgeous whether I’m Sirius or riddikulus
Our first order of the day came in the form of a city-wide tour with a guide. Our enthusiastic guide took us all around town, and I can certainly say that I now have the utmost respect for the students. I personally don’t know if I could take one-on-one tutoring sessions and risking my entire academic career on exams and papers during my last year. Oxford students also adhere to long-standing traditions, such as wearing special robes for dinners and specific school events.
After the tour, we had lunch at a small café recommended by our school, called Georgina’s, at the Covered Market. It’s actually located on a second story, so you have to walk up a flight of stairs to get to a small loft-like area. The walls are decorated with movie posters, both old and new; my favorite was a poster featuring Gone With the Wind.
I had a toasted plain bagel with a hot chocolate, £3 and £2.50 respectively. The bagel was nothing special – after all, it was just a plain bagel.
What really disappointed me, though, was the hot chocolate. Not only was it overpriced, it tasted nothing like chocolate. It was basically just hot water. I should have expected something so sub-par when I say the waitress turn towards what looked like a vending machine to get the hot chocolate.
Another girl also had a bagel, except she ordered one with cream cheese. It cost her one pound more. In my opinion, the cream cheese wasn’t worth the extra pound, as you can get a whole tub at Tesco for the same price.
Another friend ordered a Panini called Melting Moment, which had turkey, brie, and garlic butter. For £5.50, the cheese wasn’t completely melted, and the garlic butter didn’t really shine through. Good on paper, but the execution fell flat.
After lunch, it was time to see the sights! We paid about £10 to go into the church where they got the inspiration for Hogwarts. Luckily, these locations were in the first movies, so I was able to recognize them. This is the great hall. There’s going to be a considerable line if you go, and I had a considerable line of people backed up behind me as I took this picture.
And of course, the iconic Quiddich field! We weren’t allowed to walk on it, but it’s pretty big.
We didn’t have time, but I would also recommend going to walk along the Thames, called the River Isis in Oxford. It’s gorgeous, even on the day we went, which was cold. The Thames is where author and mathematician Lewis Carroll, whose real name is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, got the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. While on a boat ride with his friend, Alice – the daughter of the dean of Christ Church College, and her two sisters, Carroll made up the story on the spot and wrote it down as a Christmas present for Alice. He later created a pen name for himself by translating his first two names into Latin (Carolus Ludovicus), translating them back into English, and then inverting them. The path leading to the Thames, which is right across the church, is very romantic.
Avenue 3 The Market
Oxford OX1 3DY
Monday – Saturday 8:30 – 17:00