“Excuse me, where’s the Oxford University?”, AKA how to have fun with the tourists.

August 3, 2013

Oxford is a university town. You can see this is true because some days the student’s bicycles outnumber the tourists.

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Often when I’m in town, someone will ask me a question like, “Excuse me, could you point me in the direction of the Radcliffe Camera?” And I’ll say, Of course. πŸ™‚ ” and do.

Even when people ask me for the directions to Magdalen Bridge and pronounce it Mag-da-len instead of Maud-lin, well, what can you do, I just say at the bottom of High Street, you can’t miss it.

Not everyone knows their Oxford Blue from their Stilton, and the streets are very narrow and the buildings of tall Cotswold stone and spires do look similar.

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So I do try to do my best to direct someone to where they would like to go.

But every once in a while someone will ask me for directions to “Oxford University” and I just have to laugh.

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You see, Oxford town is one great big university spread out over literally dozens of buildings.

Mostly the universities are behind great big doors.

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The give-away is students milling about the big doors.

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Walk thru the courtyard and you’ll find a university. Here’s one!

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But it’s so hard to point someone in the right direction because, you see these three buildings? They are all universities! (In modern or in historic ways) The building on the left is the Radcliffe Camera, an ancient library still functioning as the repository for science texts, the church in the middle is the University Church of St Mary the Virgin (St Mary’s) and functioned as a university, and the building on the right is the Brasenose University.

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This is the Brasenose University behind its huge front door. And this goes for the whole of Oxford, not just the centre pretty part.

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So if you’re in the middle of Oxford and some tourist has the bad manners to ask you to point him to the Oxford University, you can pretty much point in any direction and say, “Go that way to the end of the street and turn right, you can’t miss it.” Chances are he will come to a university anyway, and, if he doesn’t, maybe he’ll find a nice pub to ask someone else. πŸ™‚

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10 Comments

  • Reply Kate North August 3, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Ooh, I feel all nostalgic for my days in Oxford. Such a beautiful place…

    • Reply Veronica August 3, 2013 at 7:53 am

      So true Kate, it is such a beautiful place. I know there’s always a bit of rivalry in my family because my father was a Cambridge man, but I like Oxford best. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Diane August 3, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I would totally be one of the people you would be laughing at… xox

    • Reply Veronica August 3, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Lol, never Diane, because we would have the good sense to be here at the same time! Much more fun with a buddy. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Martha August 3, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Hi Veronica: That place is so beautiful. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures! Hugs, Martha

    • Reply Veronica August 3, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Hugs to you Martha. πŸ™‚ I’m glad I can bring these photos to you and you enjoy them. That’s very wonderful for me. πŸ™‚

  • Reply vastlycurious.com August 3, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Great Gallery V! I really like the great big door that houses higher education.

    • Reply Veronica August 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

      It’s a good one Kathryn. I suppose in the old days they had horses and carriages come thru and had to open the whole door. πŸ™‚

      • Reply vastlycurious.com August 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

        I never thought of that! You are right !

        • Reply Veronica August 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

          It’s true Kathryn. πŸ™‚

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