England

Elephant No. 10: Oxford

A slightly different kind of elephant, these are elephant skeletons from the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford. It took me four years to manage to squeeze a visit into this museum and when I did get there, the dodo (which I was most excited to see) was on loan somewhere else…

african elephant   baby elephant

 

(more…)

Advertisements

Weekends away in England: Lake District and Cambridge

20140728-001328-808152.jpgBeing a London girl born and bred, to my shame there are large parts of this country that I’ve never explored: travelling to me means leaving the rainy island behind and exploring places with different languages, different cultures, different climates. However, being based in London for a summer doing an internship Monday-Friday has given me an excellent chance to visit in my weekends some bits of the country previously unexplored. This has made me realise that England would probably be a great place to come to as a tourist – most of the cities (even the smaller ones) have lots of interesting things to do and see, and much as we like to complain about the train system, it’s actually pretty easy to get around the country by rail, and not even that expensive if you buy tickets in advance – my return ticket this weekend cost me only about £10.

(more…)

May Day in Oxford

This Thursday morning, the 1st May, I celebrated May Day. It’s a tradition that I have taken part in for the past three years, as there’s always lots going on in Oxford to mark the date, much of which is specifically connected to my college, Magdalen. I always find it an interesting holiday as it blends so many different cultures – originally a pagan festival marking the start of summer (it’s approximately halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice), it was adapted when Christianity was adopted in this country, and now also has strong associations with International Workers’ Day… (more…)

The Women’s Boat Race

The Women’s Boat Race

Henley-on-Thames

image

Boats racing at Henley

I’ll be the first to admit that I know next to zilch about the strange sport of rowing. With a heavy contingent of rowing-crazy friends among my acquaintances though, I can usually just about follow the ‘rowing chat’ – even if it sometimes (read: often) bores me to death. As someone who dislikes both early mornings and most forms of exercise, I just don’t think I’ll ever understand their motivation! However, Henley is just about the loveliest place that you can spend a sunny English weekend in spring, which is exactly what I did last week, to watch the annual Oxford-Cambridge women’s boat-race. To be honest, the race itself you only watch for about five minutes (and it was quite exciting even I have to admit), but it’s one of the nicest bits of the countryside that I know, and I’d be happy to go back another weekend, rowing or no rowing. (It would also be especially nice to go not with a splitting hangover!) It’s very easy to get to from London – only about an hour on the train – so if you have a spare sunny Sunday approaching, I’d recommend a visit. The river sparkles in a very nice river sort of way, and there’s good pubs in the town itself.

(more…)