This post is long overdue but I am finally sitting done to tell you about the amazing weekend I spent in Oxford last November (yes, I know…better late than never).
I left London late on Friday night to attend the yearly conference of the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) on Saturday. The conference was great and I got to hear from many inspiring people working throughout the industry.
After the conference, I decided to extend my stay an extra day to get a chance to see a bit of Oxford, and I’m really glad I did. I was completely blown away by the beautiful architecture and history of the place.
One of the highlights of the day was visiting the Bodleian Library. I paid for an hour long tour and I would lie if I said that the beauty of the place didn’t almost make me tear up. The first room we were brought in was the set for the hospital wing in the first Harry Potter movie. We were then taken upstairs to the library. We weren’t allowed to take pictures but believe me when I say that the smell, the semi-darkness, and the solemn atmosphere of the place blew me away. The guide also showed us the bookshelf from which Harry picks up the book from the restricted section in the first movie. The books are centuries old and held to the bookshelves by chains. At the end of the visit, I got a bit carried away in the bookstore as every book lover should.
Speaking of bookstore, Oxford is the home of Oxford University Press, whose office building is pretty darn impressive. OUP has a physical bookstore in the town and I couldn’t pass by without popping in. I ended up leaving with three new books. Oh well.
I did a lot of walking around throughout the day and came across many beautiful sites by accident, including the Bridge of Sighs, but one thing that I very much wanted to see was Christ Church. It is this immense building with a large courtyard. You walk up the staircase where McGonagall awaits the first-years in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and visit the dining room that inspired the Great Hall and where Lewis Carroll used to hang out (no big deal). Walking around the courtyard is very serene. Although it was freezing cold, I could have stayed there for hours.
After a pretty scarring coffee shop experience (I found a piece of mushroom at the bottom of my hot chocolate…gross), I made my way to the train station and was quickly back to crazy London.
Obviously, as it’s been months since my Oxford adventure, my memory is a bit hazy on the details, but the conclusion of this post is: if you have a chance to go and visit Oxford, do yourself a favour and go! You’ll be sure to see gorgeous sites and experience multiple Harry Potter nerd moments!
PS: I featured all the books I bought in Oxford in my last Book Haul.