Oxford and Stones

Trip Start Apr 03, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, April 8, 2008

We had a pretty early start this morning as we had to get to Salisbury by tonight and still have a bit of a look around the town.

The first thing I can say about Oxford is I don't like it as much as Cambridge. Don't get me wrong it was still a lovely place it just didn't have the same vibe or appeal that Cambridge had. We walked briskly to Trinity College and had a wander about the beautiful grounds before heading into the main building to check out the major tourist draw cards. 

You may or may not be familiar with a rather famous series of books based around a young wizarding character who goes by the name of Harry Potter.  Anyway in the films the staircase heading up to the 1st level or down to the great hall was actually one of the staircases in the college. Another Harry Potter themed attraction in the main dinning hall which when combined with some computer generated images makes the great hall. I couldn't really recognise it as the one in the movies but the portraits of past headmasters which were all over the walls were very interesting. 

We then went to have a look in chapel where we met a rather eccentric man who offered to take us on a tour. As it turned out he wasn't very interested in the historical figures or architecture of the building but was a bit of a stained-glass window enthusiast. We spent an hour and a half being shown every window in the place (there were a lot) which was actually very interesting. We learnt about the people who made the windows and he told us the stories associated with each one. 
I think he liked us because he then took us on a tour of the grounds and showed us places that were associated with Lewis Carol such as a large tree (which he imagined the Cheshire cat sat in) and a door (through to Wonderland). It was amazing to think that he's been sitting at one of the windows writing his masterpiece.

On the way out of town we made a quick morning tea stop at The Trout a pub which is best know for it's appearances on the TV show Inspector Morse. I had an orange juice and watched the Great Tits flying around. 

Back on the road we made our way to Avebury and had a look at the standing stones there. They are not as impressive as Stonehenge but the diameter us much greater, to the extent that the town is built inside them. I would have thought that there would have been some kind of negative superstition that would discourage people from building towns inside stone circles but it was apparent that if there was the people of Avebury were happy to ignore it. 
Another few hours up the road and I got my first glimpse of Stonehenge. Words can not even begin to describe the feeling one gets when looking upon these giants in person. The fact the place even exists is an improbability. Unfortunately it was about to close for the night so we only got to view it from the road but tomorrow we're going to see it up close.


 I better head off to bed, I get the feeling it is going to be another big day tomorrow. 

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