As part of our annual Adventure Week, my mom and I decided to spend a few days in Oxford, since I had only been once, briefly, and she had never been. We stayed in a hotel about 15 minutes walk from town, and had absolutely stupendous weather.
My mom was a trooper the first day - she had taken the red-eye over from NYC and I picked her up at Heathrow and we started in! After a little exploring followed by a short nap, we walked over to the Botanic Garden, which was small but really interesting.
There were small Britons playing cricket on an immaculate lawn:
And the World's Most Delicious Artichoke (stuffed with goat cheese, tapenade, and breadcrumbs). YUM.
On Friday (with more stunning weather) we took a combined walk/bike tour, starting in the Divinity School (aka the Hogwarts Infirmary).
Time for bikes!
We visited the Natural History Museum (with the best roof EVER), and the Pitt Rivers Museum (so much bizarre stuff!)
Doesn't everyone take pictures of the floor?
We made quick stop at the Bodleian library, where we saw (among other things): Tolkien's watercolour cover for The Hobbit, Euclid's geometric drawings and theorems, a Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, Audubon's Birds of North America, and Handel's conducting score for the premier of Messiah. All in the same room. Shut UP. In the next room was a First Folio of Shakespeare.
Outside, we admired the outside of the Sheldonian Theatre (as designed by Christopher Wren), and ended up with last-minute tickets to see the Oxford Philomusica perform under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy.
But first, a little more exploring.
The Radcliffe Camera:
And All Souls:
Because we had bought tickets quite late, all that was left were the unreserved seats behind the orchestra. The concert was absolutely electrifying and our seats were INCREDIBLE. We could see every gesture and movement from Ashkenazy, who was a really stupendous conductor. Despite not having a discernible downbeat (leading to a few ragged entrances), he was completely mesmerising to watch. Also, we were essentially sat in the horn section, which meant that I was a very happy camper!
Oxford adventures, complete!