November 11, 2004

Oxford University

Yesterday I traveled to Oxford for my first visit there. What a fantastic city. It's beautiful and has a cosmopolitan feeling that I've only encountered in London till now. I spent several hours looking around at the colleges and taking pictures, especially visiting Exeter College (William Morris) and Balliol College (Vincent Massey). I can imagine the effect that the place would have on an undergraduate. From a visitor's perspective, what a romantic place.

I also heard more American accents than I have anywhere outside London. Met an American woman working in Starbucks who has just moved to Oxford with her husband who is doing a PhD.

I spent a couple of hours in the Ashmolean Museum, where I saw a collection of Italian Renaissance ceramics that was simply amazing. I don't think I've ever seen any ceramics like that before — I can't think of any similar collections that would be in the US. It was intricate, colorful, and beautifully rendered. I also saw early pre-Raphaelite paintings and some Walter Sickerts that were revealing.

A fantastic day, and I plan to return.

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