Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oxford from the Aire: Last Set of Photos

While I'm at it...

Sunday was Gillian's last day here, so we decided to hit up some of the last sights. We went to the Museum of Oxford and then climbed the spire of the church of St. Mary the Virgin: lots of very steep, very twisting steps, but some great views at the top.

Looking down the first flight of steps.

Looking out over the roofs.

More rooftops.

The stairs looked like this. That's my foot, since I was standing in a window-well -- they were too narrow for someone to go up and come down at the same time, which was probably why they built the windows where they did.

But at the top, it was great.

To the right: All Souls College with the Hawksmoor Towers.

To the center: the Radcliffe Camera.

To the left: Exeter (you can see its spire) and Brasenose.

Straight up...

... and straight down.

High Street from above.

Oxford rooftops with the spire of the Lincoln College Library in the background.

More rooftops.

Gillian with All Souls in the background.


Gillian in one of the arches of the walkway. Because of this, I wondered if fat people aren't allowed to go up. I honestly don't think they'd fit.

The tower once we'd returned to terra firma.

All right, that concludes the photos for now! Not sure when there will be more (hopefully before I go to Scotland in March) but there will be eventually, and in the meantime, I'll try to remember to update every so often.

Stonehenge! (Photos)

Certain impatient people have been sending certain thinly veiled hints that they think I am not being prompt enough with these pictures. Certain people should be aware that a certain blogger's internet has been certainly horrible for the past few days, to the point it will not work if I am sitting at my desk, but might to consent to do so if I am sitting on the bed. I am now sitting in the living room, so let us see how this goes.

So in short, certain impatient person, shaddup. Ta-dah.

We went from Salisbury Cathedral...

...which looks like this...

(and also this)

(and this as well, aka Gillian did not put in a lot of good pictures)...

... to Stonehenge!

Which looks like this.

And like this. Aka it looks closer than we actually were (thank God for zoom functions). I imagine this is to stop people from doing stupid things like carving their initials and chipping off bits to sell on eBay. Morons.

My charming sister and me with some random big pile of rocks in the background.

Cue the drums.

There were too many damn people there. I cut out all the photos in which it showed.

But it was really kind of awesome anyway.

We got a picture of me writing at the Tower of London, so here's the picture of me writing at Stonehenge. Yes, those parts are in the book. And you'll never guess. Nyeeehehehehehe.The reason I look like an Eskimo is simple: it was mutha flipping COLD.

Yes, I know. You want to make this your new wallpaper immediately.

The rays of sunlight fall upon the stones of yore. And nobody knows why, aside from the fact that that's kind of what sun does.

More stones. Dunno who got them there, really, they're mucking up the lovely Wiltshire countryside.

After this, we went back on a bus driven at hair-raising speeds on winding country roads, and repaired immediately to a coffee shop before frozen bits started breaking off. Stay tuned for the next edition, Oxford from the Aire. It's cool. Trust me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We nearly freeze and get lost, but have a great time anyway.

Another Editorial Note From Hilary: Yup, still insane.

So. We woke up at 7:45 AM and managed to stay awake and get out the door shortly thereafter in order to catch a 9:15 train (it takes awhile to traverse Oxford to the train station, and when we went to London we had to walk a bit faster than I really wanted to, so we made sure to leave early this time). We then had about a two and a half hour train ride (though we did transfer through Southampton Central). It didn't seem that long, though, and then we arrived in Salisbury.

The street. (It was pretty)

A clock tower (I love those).

Oh yeah, and there's this. The Salisbury cathedral. It's that impressive in real life, yes. Actually more so. It's GORGEOUS. And old. Hilary went overboard with the pictures because we couldn't photograph Westminster, so I'll try to get a sense of it, but I can't post it all.

The front of the cathedral. I had a few gawk moments here.

Hilary at the front. I love this picture.


More cathedral.

How do they build this stuff?

Yeah, it's all really old. And pretty.

Case in point.

I cannot begin to describe how amazing the wood carvings were. Really. I can't.

Someone important was buried here. EVERYTHING looks like this in Westminster. By the way.

The cathedral as you see it when you come in.

This dude was alive when the first stones were laid. (Seriously). That was in 1220.

The cloisters. And my shoulder, apparently.

A grave. Can you see the date? 1367. Really freaking old.

The cathedral spire. It's damn impressive. Really. (I lack my sister's wit when it comes to this)

After this, of course, we headed to Stonehenge, and I'm not going to be able to put the pictures up tonight, because I actually do need to sleep, so I will bother Hilary to put them up tomorrow, along with the pictures from St. Mary the Virgin's tower, where we were today.

This is me, attempting to be the Hunchback of Notre Dame (or the Hunchback of Salisbury Cathedral in this case). We were bored, and trying to waste time before our train left for Oxford. Oh yeah, and not freeze. This was very important.

Anyway, more pictures tomorrow (hopefully)!

Boxing Day Wanderings (AKA Gillian takes over the blog)

Editorial Note From Hilary: My sister is insane. I left her ramblings untouched for comedic effect. Er, I mean, I love you, dear.

Hi there. I am the famous sister you see in all the picatures. Since Hilary didn't want to put up all the pictures, I decided to hijack the blog and do it anyway. So. Here follows as many posts as I can get in before we skype the family. Also I have to get up before 5AM tomorrow morning in order to fly to Orlando, Florida. But that is a different story.


Christmas Day was really fun - we got up fairly late and opened the two or three presents we had. Books and chocolate, mainly, which is JUST FINE with us. After which we hung out for a bit, and then I got to work making Christmas dinner. Naturally, Hilary's flat is not very well stocked with pots and pans, so I had to improsive, but I managed to roast a turkey breast, mash some potatoes, and make a very retarded version of green bean casserole. We also had some onion bread, a bottle of wine, and chocolate cake, so that was very nice.

Boxing day I came down with a very bad cold, but I didn't want to just sit inside and do nothing. It was also sunny for the first time since I got here, and since I am rather addicted to sunlight, I wanted to get out while we had the chance. So we headed out. I wanted to go up the tower of St. Mary the Virgin. It was closed. I also wanted to look around the Sheldonian Theatre. Also closed.

So I decided to check out the phone booth.

We walked down Merton Street in the sun.

And then, for lack of better things to do, we decided to check out the botanical gardens. That is the archway going into it.

The archway from the other side.

A fountain.

Yeah, basically we just took pictures of pretty stuff.

Fish in a pond.

Very lovely view, where I sat down to rest.

A really cute little crazy bird we made friends with.

After this, we headed to this little restaurant that had signs for a traditional cream tea on the window and a menu full of grilled stuff. Confused, we asked for the tea, and were given it - a pot of tea, two scones, and clotted cream for each. It was lovely! (I LOVE tea).

Then I was really tired and sick, so we headed back and hung out.

Hang tight for Salisbury and Stonehenge pics on the way.