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04 August 2009 @ 19:24
City of Dreaming Spires  
So I reached England the morning after my birthday, after having the longest birthday of my life (it lasted more than 24 hours because I crossed the international date line while it was still my birthday). Thanks for all the birthday wishes and presents! Although I'm sorry, I couldn't bring some of them with me. I simply had no space.

London was amazing, although I had a tube ride from hell that took about 1.5 hours more than it should have. Stupid tube stations decided to close, and some didn't allow changes between lines. Blackfrairs, the stop I was supposed to get off at, is closed till 2011, wth. So alright, I'll go to St. Paul's, no problem. But noooo... no interchange allowed between Bank and Monument. So I ended up taking the tube in one big circle. Finally reached the hostel, and dumped everything after reluctantly allowing a locker in a dinky little basement room to eat 2 pounds to keep my luggage. Then the fun began!


This is of St. Paul's Cathedral, located literally a stone's throw away from where I was staying in London.

It's one of the first photos I took on this trip, and it's one of my favourites from London. Skies in the morning are amazing. 

I meandered around randomly with no clear plan, and went on a guided tour of Royal London. Quite interesting stuff, the guide was really good. I tipped him 1/3 of my budget for that day (although that only amounted to 5 pounds), he was that good. I ate lunch while staring at the London Eye from across the Thames, but I only got to stare at it, because going up it would cost an insane amount of money. Lunch cost 2 pounds, and for that price, I'd say the taste-to-price ratio was fairly good.


 

I somehow managed to cover most of London's attractions and ended up at Covent Garden around dinnertime. I also managed to find LSE along the way, something I'm rather proud of, since LSE is probably the most nondescript university I've ever seen. You literally wouldn't know it's there unless someone told you that you were standing right in front of it. 

The sun was nowhere near going down since it was summer, but I got a chance to witness a very interesting London "tradition". The pubs and bars were PACKED with people, drinking, chatting, drinking, oh, did I mention drinking? They were so packed that people were on the streets nursing pints. And these weren't just anybody, they were well-dressed white collar office worker bank broker types. Quite an amazing sight for me, but no pictures, because I somewhat feared for my camera's (and my) safety. 

Made it back, and it was time for Day Two. The plan was to meet Ken (a friend from LSE) and go shooting at Hampstead Heath. However, the weather did not cooperate, but we went anyway. I allowed the London Underground to earn a significant amount of money from me from that adventure. Then I went shooting late into the night in London, something I'd never do in a million years except that today there was a guy with me who actually kind of knew London. Slept fitfully for 3 hours, waking up at 4am to go to Heathrow to catch the group to go to Oxford!
I reached Oxford on Sunday morning, and I don't know how I managed it, but I dragged myself and four bags with a camera simultaneously hanging around my neck across several streets and up three floors. I half crashed into the door of my room, after cursing that it was right at the end of the corridor, and wow. It's really, really nice.



The room was BIG (well, decently sized at least). And it had SHEETS!!! Something my room in Toronto did not come with. And TWO PILLOWS! And a desk lamp! And a huge table! And a HUGE CLOSET! And, most importantly, MY OWN BATHROOM!!!!! OMG. As an added bonus, the view outside my room was super too. I now kind of don't mind the fact that I'm on the third floor and right at the end of the corridor... the first floor people have the misfortune of their rooms being visible to any curious stranger who might want to look, unless they draw their curtains 24/7. The view outside my room window:



Went around Oxford and my college... and I must say that my college, Worcester, is super pretty. It has its own lake (!) and an orchard. Oxford town is of course as awesome as it always has been, just that this time, I'm better equipped to capture its awesomeness.


A Bench amongst the "orchard" at Worcester College

Bicycles outside Worcester College
The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford town 

And I'm probably degenerating into ranting about prettiness and the unfairness of it all because it's all concentrated in one place, and besides, I have to study about how Canadian criminal law originated from British common law, so I need to go. 








 
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elsongelsong on 5th August 2009 04:03 (UTC)
nice! are you doing summer school in oxford?
Marauder Magicmarauder_magic on 5th August 2009 13:49 (UTC)
I love all the photos!! Very nice!! Especially the first one of St Paul's (:
ambivalence: coloursboredpassion on 6th August 2009 11:28 (UTC)
woo are the clouds in the first photo real? O_O

and i love the photo of the bench! Very nice! The bicycles too!