Non incautus futuri

A Washington & Lee junior and Marine Officer Candidate in Spain

W&L Reunion Part II: Oxford & London

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Last weekend, four friends and I met up in Paris for a Washington & Lee Thanksgiving. We staged a little bit of an encore this weekend — my buddy Steele and I went and visited the United Kingdom. I’ve just gotten back, and by the time this is posted I’ll be on my way to Barcelona for the final trip of my semester in Spain. So I need to keep this post briefer than I’d like — what follows is really just a skeleton of the details.

Oxford: 

Steele and I went and visited our friend Stephanie, who is studying at Worcester College this year. Stephanie went out of her way to show us a great time — we saw the Oxford nightlife, which is hilarious, fun, and completely unlike anything I have ever seen. Apparently drinking out of shoes (literally, the ones they wear on their feet) is something of a tradition for Worcester students.

Oxford is a college town to the hilt. Because the university is separated into colleges of only a few hundred students, there are really tight-knit communities. The students are also really, really smart and the academics are top-notch (if that even need be said). Stephanie’s classes basically consist of meeting one-on-one with a “tutor,” reading a prepared redaction and analysis of a given theme, and having her tutor critique her thought process. One Oxford student described her education as “having to learn everything yourself, and then having someone pick holes in your work.” On top of all that, the school is completely gorgeous and just unbelievably full of history.

I’m already breaking my word about the brevity thing — I knew this would happen. Here are some pictures:

London:

 I had a big list of stuff Steele and I did in London, but the truth is that I actually had some bad luck in London. I lost my phone on the Underground (and thus the list), and I managed to miss my return flight back to Alicante. Two very costly screw-ups that I haven’t really stopped kicking myself for.

Still, we saw and did a LOT in London, and I had a great time. A quick list of stuff we did:

The British Museum: This was one of the coolest museums I have ever seen. It was absolutely phenomenal, and completely overwhelming in its scope. There were mummies, Greek and Roman sculptures, Easter Island figurines, and really a little bit of everything from the ancient world.

The Imperial War Museum: This museum was great — it had exhibits on World War I (including one with a simulated trench), World War II, and Britain’s various military exploits in the 20th century.

Chinese food: Yeah, it’s not that much different from American Chinese food, but it was my first taste of something even slightly spicy since being in Europe, so I consider it noteworthy.

Tower Bridge and the Tower of London: Pretty cool, but we didn’t actually go inside because they charge an arm and a leg to get in. The student rate was 17£, which is like $27. Also, the place seemed a little bit touristy. There was an ice rink set up in front of the Tower, so we gathered it’s changed a bit since the princes got murdered.

Whitehall: This area of London has a ton of stuff — Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the like. It was nice, but there wasn’t actually so much to do here, it was mostly stuff to see.

Trafalgar Square: Probably my favorite bit of London. It was so cool! Pictures below.

Dinner with more W&L friends: We met up with Annie, who is also studying at Oxford, and Madison, who is studying in Rome, for dinner. It was a great time, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the restaurant we ate at was the British equivalent of Applebee’s.

Again, sorry for typing up a novel. Pictures:

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Written by Lee

December 5, 2011 at 14:00

Posted in Eurotrip

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