Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Arrival and Suite Tour

The trip to Oxford was painless. Except for spraying yogurt in my eyes while I was eating breakfast and sitting next to a girl who kept on looking at me like I was either a four eyed monster or celebrity, everything went as smoothly as I could have expected. After arriving at Heathrow airport at 6 a.m. (London time) I officially showed my passport, fetched my bags and headed off into the central bus station to find my way to Gloucester Green, Trinity College's nearest stop. After jumping off the bus and gathering my bags once more, I sort of wandered the streets pretending like I knew exactly where I was going until I found Trinity College. I had memorized the map I needed to get there so finding Trinity wasn't a problem at all.

I checked in with the porter, got settled and unpacked in my suite, and took a short nap to refuel my body. (I couldn't sleep a wink on the flight to London). Oxford itself was dead as I lugged my bags through the town at 9 am but when I went through the town again later in the afternoon it was bustling and cute as ever.

After wandering through town a bit more I headed over to dinner and then wandered campus a bit with a new friend who isn't afraid to open doors and corridors. For that I'm thankful, because I now know how to get from my room to the dining hall (precisely where you need to be to pick up your food too) without ever leaving the building. We went in the chapel, the Trinity library, and found a recreation and television room that caught our attention. After watching a little British news, part of the Diana Concert, and some amazing but nerdy British shows, we called it a night.

Tomorrow morning starts bright and early with breakfast and an orientation, along with a class called "Literary Makings of the Modern Self" (with a TBA time), and more exploring. I'll fill you in more in the future but for now I'd like to give you an official tour of my Suite.

To make the experience a little more tangible, I'm providing a few pictures. There will be more to come but here's a small teaser.

My last views of New England until August 11th. Views courtesy of puddle jumper window and aisle seat 6A.

The following pictures are all views from the different rooms in my suite. So you have a sense of the setup before I start ranting on, the entrance to Trinity college is gated and guarded by a porter. You walk into a lawn, a beautiful chapel, a hallway, and then a smaller courtyard with a four walls of a building surrounding it.

To get into my suite I have to go up staircase (what they call buildings over here) XVII and then go up one set of stairs into Suite 4. If you were to walk into my place you would see what I call my living room. The ceilings are probably about 20 feet high with great crown molding and the living room has a fireplace, desk, fridge, two bookshelfs, two chairs, two window seats, and a random antique table. The furniture is old but I like to call it spirited. Here are a few pictures of my living room:

This is a picture of my fireplace, which at this point is no longer in service.

A total view of my front door, the windows, and my living room.

A window seat close-up.

One of the bookshelves, which I've already begun to utilize. The biggest bookstore in the world is just a few minutes away a pie (by foot) so I'm sure this will begin to fill up a little bit more.

If you look to the left of the bookcase in the picture above you'll see the hallway/open area that leads to my sink. Of course since this was built in 1554 I don't have a complete bathroom. But it's nice to have a place to brush my teeth and refill my water bottle without going to the basement.

Behind the sink is an open area and then my actual bedroom. The bedroom is modest but still very nice. And to think, this semi-three roomed place all to myself.

Now for my favorite part...what's outside the windows! My place has four windows, two on each side. We'll start with the windows on the side of my bathroom and bedroom.

The courtyard visible from one my windows. Look at that manicured grass.

Panning slightly.

A close up on the buildings of this courtyard. They're so detailed it's amazing.

Yet another attempt to show the fine detail invested in every piece of this university.

Now for the window views on the other side of my place.

Yes, those are potted window plants you see.

Yet another window view near the back lawn, which you're only allowed to sit and play croquet on (and only when the grass is dry).

And in case you'd like to see the gate to the right of my living room (another part of the field pictured in the last photo above), feel free to check out this live webcam. Perhaps I'll schedule a time to make an appearance for you eager watchers...

Webcam of the Back Gate Near My Suite

Although I could type all night I'll refrain from boring you too much now with my tangents and novellas. Thanks for reading though, and I'll have more for you soon.

Currently jamming with a little: The Secret Handshake - "Coastal Cities" and "Summer of '98"