Saturday, April 30, 2016

First 36 Hours in Oxford, England with Photos

Yesterday morning my flight on Delta from Boston Logan landed in London Heathrow at 7AM. The flight was early and it had been so comfortable - I managed to even stretch out over 3 middle seats and can't remember when I had this luxury in the recent past.

All Souls College at Oxford University had arranged for me to be picked up at Heathrow. Both my suitcases arrived quickly in baggage claim and although customs was a mass of humanity especially the "all passports" queue, I took advantage of the wait by speaking to the female in front of me, who, was from DC and was returning to Oxford for a visit since she had received her Master's last year from Oxford University in environmental sciences. She was wonderful to talk to and told me of several places that I should go to, including University Park, which I strolled through today.

My driver brought me to my apartment, which is gated and requires a combination to get past the gate and another one to get into the building. The apartment has views of greenery from each window and as I am writing the birds outside are keeping me company. The air is very crisp and the temperature just perfect for research, walking, and exploring.

I will be reporting to All Souls College on Monday, which will be by first day as a Visiting Fellow. I am very excited about this great opportunity.

Yesterday I walked to downtown Oxford and found a favorite tea room and restaurant that we had been to last year when we were in Europe for multiple conferences from Greece through Scotland.

I walked at least 10 miles which is always my way of avoiding jet lag since one then switches to the new time zone and collapses in a deep sleep at night. I even managed to get to a Sainsbury food store to purchase some fresh produce, other food, and household supplies.

Everyone is so friendly here and my ears are getting adjusted to the variety of British accents that I hear. I managed to get a monthly bus pass at Debenham's but have been walking exclusively, so far.

Below are some photos taken in my first 36 hours in Oxford.

The first photo below is of Trinity College, Oxford University, which is very close to All Souls College.

All Souls College was closed today (but it is a Saturday). I took the photo below of the entrance.
There were various sports teams and many families enjoying University Park today.
The tree below in the park charmed me - yes, being from Amherst, Massachusetts, I am certainly at tree hugger.
The arch below on the Oxford University campus caught my eye.
The bus I will take advantage of sooner or later since there will be quite a few late evening lectures to attend.
But, this afternoon, I walked the scenic way back from downtown to my apartment.

The beauty of Oxford from the architecture to the natural environment is captivating.
I do believe that living abroad, as an academic, enriches one intellectually, culturally, spiritually, and research-wise.  Tonight, I will enjoy reading a nice, thick British newspaper followed by my copy of the latest issue of The Economist.