I have been back home for over a week now. The jet lag has been terrible which made me doze off anywhere inside my office, restaurant and car! Now it is fading off a bit but I still wake up widely awake at 4.00am. Tomorrow I will be off to Taipei to attend a few Tibetan Buddhism Prayers at a monastery in Taichung and also Taoyuan. This will be presided by the same Living Buddha Guru who was in Jakarta in December. I attended that prayer sessions in Jakarta and my fate changed indeed for the better because I could visit England, Scotland and Wales.
After suffering for a whole year of stress and depression from my office, this 2 weeks break was a welcome relief to spend my Chinese New Year in overseas with my old friends at London's Chinatown. It was a cold winter throughout but we were well prepared with all kinds of jackets, thermal undergarments and winter shoes. We visited many famous landmarks around London before making a trip to Reading to visit my niece who had just given birth to a handsome baby boy with a mixture of Irish-Asian looks. My sister was there too as a new young grandmother to cuddle her grandchild for over a month. My niece is still very young and the baby's arrival was unplanned. No prize for the right guesses! Ha-ha!....
We visited Oxford by train from the Paddington Station as blogged in my previous post here. I was glad that we stayed a night to fully discover the entire Oxford's ancient town against 2 friend's advice that a day trip would be sufficient. Several friends had visited Oxford for just few hours to look see from their cars only. We were more adventurous and walked almost the whole town by foot in the snow besides walking inside 2 famous churches to explore. That's me!
This is the entrance into the main campus area of the world famous Oxford University. Their university is most unique as all their faculty buildings are spread all over the whole town and operates individually under the same brand. You need to stand there to believe that it is really a prestigious university with the best quality of education being taught at the world's oldest English speaking university. Along the streets, we could see very old professors leading their adult students in neat Oxford attire uniform jackets walking together in a line to other faculty buildings to attend lectures. This pretty sight is so unique and I did not even see such group of university students marching in uniform jackets in the American campuses. Oxford University still keeps their oldest school traditions since its founding that stretched as far as Year 1096!!!
This is the official Oxford's University Church of St. Mary The Virgin which was founded in the 1200s. We ventured inside the church and admired the coloured stained windows. I took many photos of the interior but I have to limit the photos for this post. I have better shots of what lies above the top of the church's tower!!
Here we go! We paid £4 each to climb up to the church's tower to admire the whole view of Oxford. We were surprised and not prepared with the road ahead to the top! We had to climb several flight of steep stairs.
We had to continue climbing iron stairs into other connecting paths. It was like a scene from the movies of Robin Hood from Nottingham Forrest!
The final was winding ourselves up of the very tight spiral stairs for the final leg to the top. I bet in olden days, the English folks were all very thin and petite sizes! LOL.
Finally! We reached the top of the tower that overlooks the whole town and campus of the University of Oxford. The narrow balcony was barely over 2 feet wide which needed everyone to graze their walls. It made me think what prompted the ancient architects to design such narrow stairs and balcony when land was abundant.
This spiral dome landmark looks prominent in Oxford.
The panoramic view of the entire town and campus of the University of Oxford.
This famous Christ Church where the many scenes of Harry Potter's movie was filmed. We loved the ancient Roman looking interiors of this huge church buildings which is part of the Oxford University. It was founded by the King Henry VIII in year 1546.
The many long corridors of cobbled bricks and stones inside the Christ Church of Oxford.
This is the famous long dining room where the Harry Potter's movie was filmed. Look at the eerie portrait photo behind my wife. She posed exactly like that lady, not knowing of the painting's existence until I took the photo.
This is a very large prominent square inside the Christ Church where big assemblies take place.
I was posing with somebody's car outside the hotel. Each day, we walked easily from 15K to 20K steps all over United Kingdom throughout the 2 weeks. We ate a lot and walked too much until my pants loosened! We stayed in a comfortable Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Oxford.
Our hotel room which is a typical Hampton Hilton style with thick comfortable mattress for a good night's sleep. I could not afford this hotel if not for their last minute "Winter Sale" which was few days before my visit. Probably they needed to fill up all the rooms in Winter.