This trip was going to be a long day considering we had to be outside of our apartments by 6:30am and wouldn't return until about 8pm or so. I got up around 5:30am to shower and get ready then stepped outside into the cold. I didn't realize it was going to be so cold and windy so my outfit of choice wasn't the best, but I didn't have time to change. We left in groups to take the tube to our bus stop which didn't take long to get to. At the bus stop I had to use the restroom and I encountered my second place that I had to pay to use it!
I got back upstairs to where everyone met and we got on the bus--a double decker bus! Finally I was able to cross this off of my bucket list and I got front row seating on the top level. It was such a cool experience (plus more leg room!) The bus ride was about an hour and a half to Oxford from our apartments and after a long nap, we arrived at a square with little cafe's and shops. We went into a cafe that had traditional English breakfast, but I really wanted something I was familiar with so I went with the eggs benedict and got a 10% discount for being a student, a plus when in a college town!
I got my plate about a half hour later (they told us the kitchen was running behind) and it looked like a work of art. I knew it was going to be delicious, and it was!!! I let one of my friends have a bite because she had never had one before and she loved it! I think it was actually the best eggs benedict I have ever had! We met up with more of our friends from our study abroad program and walked the streets of Oxford to find our tour guide for our tour at 12pm. Our guide was a well-dressed middle aged man who had a thick English accent but was very smart. I learned that Oxford is not just one University, but made up of 38 (if I remember correctly) different colleges that focus in one thing that one plans to study. We toured Balliol College which focused in economics and was so pretty! However, the whole time we were there it was windy and cold just like before--and we weren't prepared.
We then toured around the streets of Oxford, went into their chapel, walked inside where students were taught hundreds of years ago as well as where parts of Harry Potter were filmed! I found out that professors at Oxford are called "fellows" and not professors...weird, right? Our tour lasted about an hour and a half and we were then free to do what we wanted until our bus left--in about 6 hours!
Right when we finished, a few of us went to the oldest pub/restaurant in Oxford called the Bear Inn to get some lunch and it was really historical, which you don't really expect from a pub. It had historical info all over the restaurant so it was cool to read.
After that, I went and toured Christ Church where some of Harry Potter was also filmed and inspired and completely fell in love, it was beautiful! After that, a few of us went to a pub where we met with one the study abroad girl's guy friends who went to Oxford and studied at Wadham College. They were so nice and told us a lot about the life there, the town, the hidden spots for food and drinks, etc.
After this place we went to a local "shopping center" and looked around for about an hour. I wanted to find something red, white, and blue, and luckily they had a sports store and even more surprisingly an American flag! I got that as well as a few other things and we headed back to meet with our new friends from Oxford.
We left there and had only a few hours left so we visited another pub/bar that had been converted recently from a church! It was a ways away, but close to our bus stop so we walked--and then the worst possible thing happened to me. My shoe broke on my way there. I was upset because I had had these shoes for about a year, but more upset because I had planned to wear these on my day trip to Paris! They were the only dressy shoes I had and now I couldn't even walk! Thankfully, one of the girls had tape in her bag and I was good to go.
The church/pub was beautiful. Stained glass everywhere and so open! Everyone in it was more college kids so it was nice to talk to people my own age. Also, it was around the time that Oxford students were taking exams and during exams they had to be dressed in traditional robes and caps--very interesting!
It was time to head back to the bus so we all left and boarded the double decker for the last time. Right when I got on I fell asleep and woke up back at our stop. We took the packed tube to the apartment and made ourselves stay up for the USA vs. Ghana game. We arrived back at our apartments at around 9pm and the game wasn't until 10 or 11 so we got pizza for dinner.
We watched the game and right away I fell asleep in our common room, but woke up with about 15 minutes left in the game. It was right before Ghana scored to tie the game, but USA came back and won! That was a good thing to see right before heading off to bed along with everything I had seen that day. I had a great time in Oxford and I wish I could go back one day!