So we had another early morning and had to be in the lobby at 8am. Luckily, we didn’t have to ride the tube today so we got on the bus and I would like to give a shout out to our awesome bus driver because he was a BAMF! Anyways we had a 45 min drive to Oxford and it was freaking cold outside, but the trip was totally worth it. We got there and met our tour guide who was such a nice woman and very knowledgeable.
[Insert pictures of town of Oxford]
After we met her we traveled to our destination, which by the way was ridiculous because we were running late so we were practically sprinting down the street. Finally after being out of breath we stopped in front of this beautifully old building.
She explained that it was one of the colleges in Oxford. One thing that I didn’t understand today was how the University of Oxford was, and this is what she said. The University of Oxford is like the government of the United States. There is the government and then there are 50 separate states that all go by their own rules but they all answer to the central part which is the government. It is the same with the school, There is the University, and then there are 38 colleges that run themselves, but when you get the degree you don’t get it from the college but from the University.
Alice In Wonderland
Okay so one of the most interesting things about this college has to do with Alice and Wonderland, and this is what our tour guide told us…
There was a professor at Christ Church that was a photographer and a math professor who used to take pictures of the Deans 3 daughters so he would take them out on this boat on the rivers surrounding Oxford and since they didn’t have much to do out there so the professor would tell them stories. Eventually someone convinced him to publish these stories and he published them under the name Lewis Carroll. Which were the adventures of Alice in Wonderland and one of the 3 daughters was named Alice. So they were based off of her and the different things around Oxford.
The dean of the school (aka Alice’s father) was supposed to be represented by the rabbit who was always late. Now before I go on I need to give a little back story about him being late…So at Christ Church they would ring the bell 101 times (for every student they had) at 9:05 to tell people its time to stop drinking so that they could make their way back before the last bell was heard because if they didn’t, when the last bell chimed they would close the gate and they would be locked down. The reason why it was 9:05 was because they were 5 min ahead of Greenwich time, which was the main time. So on Sunday’s the dean would be on his way to church and would be running late and because it was at 6:05 the doors would be locked and he would have to go all the way around.
This is a picture of Henry the VIII, he is supposed to represent the Queen of Hearts because both of them liked to chop peoples heads off.
This is an actual picture of Alice, the real little girl, and if you look in the corner there is the cartoon picture of Alice from the Disney Movie.
This is a picture of a window and if you look really close you can see different characters of Alice in Wonderland and I thought it was cool!
If you have read the Alice in Wonderland books there is a story about when she takes a potion and her neck gets really long, and he got that from these statues in the fireplace. The picture is a little blurry, but you get the point.
This is a picture of a Memorial to all the family members of people who were part of the college who died in World War I. So the story behind this is that Alice and a prince Named Leopold had kind of a thing, but since she was just a common person they weren’t allowed to get married so they married other people. When they both had their first children Leopold named his daughter Alice, and Alice named her son Leopold and her son Leopold was the one that died in World War I.
[Video of Staircase]
Another really cool thing about this college was that some of the Harry Potter movies were filmed there….
If you have seen the Harry Potter movies, when you look at this picture you will notice that it is very similar to the dining hall in the movie, besides the fact that there are 3 rows of tables here and 4 in the movie. When they were wanting to make the movie they visited Christ College and as soon as they walked into the dining hall they knew that that is exactly what they were imagining when they read the books. But since there are students that go to school there that need to eat 3 times a day they knew that they couldn’t actually film it there so they built an exact replica. There were a few other places around Oxford that the Harry Potter films were filmed at, including a library, a tree, some staircases, and a few other places.
[Video of Courtyard]
(Since you can’t watch the video yet, I must say that not only was Harry Potter filmed there, but a scene from the Golden Compass was filmed there, and a scene from X-Men first class filmed there as well)
After leaving that amazing college of the Christ Church we started walking down towards the center of Oxford and stood in front of this door and right away I ran up and took a picture of the pillars on each side of the door.…
It turns out that C.S. Lewis used to walk by there every day and when he wrote the Chronicles of Narnia it was his inspiration for Mr. Thomnas the goatman that Lucy meets when she first goes to Narnia.
Annnnnnnd the door was inspiration for Aslan! So pretty much it was awesome!
These are Some other beautiful buildings around the town of Oxford. If I have time, I'll explain later what they are :)
So we stopped in Stratford-upon-Avon for lunch which really wasn’t that exciting, but I did get to see from the outside Shakespeare’s birthplace…so that was pretty neat! But lunch was just so-so.