Kris' London Online Journal
Second Week of March (Mar 7th - 13th) 2011
Tuesday, March 8th
Today my parents and I went to Oxford University (www.ox.ac.uk), just an hour by train from London. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny. We wandered around the charming streets of this quintessential college town, admiring all the amazing architecture. One building that really caught our eyes was the Radcliffe Camera, featured in the photo on the right. The building, which serves as a library, got a lot of attention this past November when students occupied it for 24 hours to protest a national increase in university tuition.
Other buildings we admired include those on the campus of Magdalen College (www.magd.ox.ac.uk), regarded by many as the most prestigious and beautiful of the more than 40 colleges that comprise Oxford University. Notable alumni of Magdalen include Dudley Moore, J. Paul Getty, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, David Souter.
The icing on the cake was finding the Bridge of Sighs. We saw the Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge when we were there last week. And, of course, we saw the Bridge of Sighs when we were in Venice two years ago. I think there are seven of these bridges throughout the world and, now, we've seen three of them. The other four, I believe, are in Germany, New York, Pittsburgh and Chester, England. If you're unfamiliar with the Bridge of Sighs, you can read about it on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_of_Sighs_(Oxford)).
Sunday, March 13th
Today, Greg and I took my parents to Stratford-upon-Avon (www.stratford-upon-avon.co.uk), the hometown of William Shakespeare. The town is located about 100 miles northwest of London and was an easy drive on this Sunday morning. Thankfully, even though the weather was fabulous today, the place wasn't at all crowded. In the summer months, it's wall-to-wall tourists.
We started our visit at the home where William Shakespeare was born (www.shakespeare.org.uk), which is located in the heart of Stratford. The house, built in the 16th century, also served as the workshop and retail store for his father's business as a glove maker. After leaving his childhood home, we stopped to see his daughter's house (http://houses.shakespeare.org.uk/halls-croft.html) and his granddaughter's house (http://houses.shakespeare.org.uk/nashs-house.html). Following that, we took a leisurely stroll along the River Avon on our way to see where Shakespeare is buried, in Holy Trinity Church (www.stratford-upon-avon.org).
Our final stop of the day was at the childhood home of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's wife (http://houses.shakespeare.org.uk/anne-hathaways-cottage.html), featured in the photo on the right. As you can see, it's a textbook example of a lovely English cottage with a thatched roof. What a perfect way to end the day!