Monday, July 11, 2011

Oxford Part 2

Funny little story before I recount my Oxford expedition.

Two days before my English Literature presentation was due, my computer crashed. And I mean crashed hard. Wouldn't even start. That night I got very, very drunk. Sigh. Unfortunately because of this debacle, this means my travel blogs and pics would have to be uploaded post-trip. So that's what I'm doing now. Anyway.

Oxford, as you may have guessed, was spectacular. My personal trip there was unbelievably perfect. It was almost as if God was leading me about. I didn't even know days could be that perfect.

The train ride there was eventful. I met a girl, who I'll call Lettie, who helped me figure out how to get my ticked from the self-service machine. She sat next to me and was as intrigued by American culture as I was about English culture. It was a very promising start to Oxford.

When I arrived, I bought a map at the station for a pound. Here's another clue that God was clearly smiling on my journey: I am hopeless with directions. But as I read the map and navigated around Oxford, I never once lost my way. Of course, this could be that Oxford is such an enclosed city that it is nearly impossible to get lost, but I prefer the God reason.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the beautiful buildings in Oxford.

I love the honesty in the latter picture.

I walked to Magdalen college, C.S Lewis' college, but unfortunately they didn't open till one, and it was eleven. I debated waiting, but ultimately decided to walk the footpath to Headington to see the Kilns, C.S Lewis' old house.

Here is the footpath and some of the views on the way to Headington. (Which, by the way, is an outlying village on the outskirts of Oxford)

Headington, however, was a good deal bigger than I anticipated. When I finally arrived, I got promptly lost. Luckily, I found a native, a guy about my age, who very helpfully showed me around and with his iPhone helped me find each C.S Lewis spot.

And so I found...the Kilns. And yes, in case you're curious, I did stick my head through every open window to get pictures of the inside.
The gardens were especially beautiful. I sat in one of the benches, feeling quite awed--this was the precise garden Jack and Joy sat in during the summers.

C.S Lewis owned a little property--a few acres of land, a pond, etc. Rather than turning it into more houses or developments, they kept the property and made it into a nature preserve, aptly titled the C.S Lewis Nature preserve. It was absolutely beautiful.

I want the above picture blown up and framed. Beautiful.

After the walk, was a long, ridiculous search for Holy Trinity Church, the church Lewis attended all his life and was buried at. I'm serious, this church does not want to be found. The only way to get to it is find the quiet, off the beaten path, and come in through the garden gate. But the church was beautiful. It was a Friday, so it was quiet. I wandered all around the church, searching for the grave.

Finally, I saw a little sign. THIS WAY TO C.S LEWIS' GRAVE. My heart began to flutter. I walked over, and there it was.

I laid the flowers. I chose sweet pea flowers. They were simple and unaffected, like Lewis himself but extremely fragrant. They seemed and looked appropriate.

I can't really describe the emotions I was experiencing while being by this grave. Somewhere between joy, somewhere around sorrow. There's no name for it.

Afterwards, something amazing, something wonderful happened to me. To be continued!