Showing posts with label Oxford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oxford. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wordless Wednesdays- An Oxford Scholar goes for a Walk

 Taken from my Archives-  August 2009- Oxford

Take a good look at this photo, this is an absolute serene day, a coterie of bikes are parked, by the local cafe, the Bodleian Library is just a stone's throw. It's a quiet street not to many people are walking about, which is perfect for daydreaming. Imagine you are in the 14th century, you are an Oxford don have a respite from your studies, perhaps, a gingerly walk in the refreshing crisp breeze and an idle cup of tea and a scone, and a chat with your professor about the meaning of life.

All blogs are written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Wordless Wednesdays- Old World

Taken from my archives- Oxford, United Kingdom.

One thing I loved about Oxford, was that it reminded of me of  Berkely, California (where I lived for 4 years before living in London ). Berkeley and Oxford, have much in common, both are College towns, and both are relatively village like. Like Oxford, Berkely has throngs of people riding  bikes, mostly students, but everyone else seems behind the trend. Mostly, because of the environment.  Berkely,is famous for University California at Berkely, which is one of the most reknowned and prestigious universities in America. But, who can compare the grand school like Oxford. I have a friend back home that studying for his Phd in Literature, at both Oxford and Berkely. (I have to admit I am a bit jealous of him, and now he's jealous of me because I lived in London, so our mutual jealous karmas are balanced now-Lol !)

 Oxford has an old world charm, that indelibly gets etched in your pysche. I fell in love with Oxford, it's a  place where great minds have studied, and you can't help, but feel the intellectual vibrations everywhere.I would love to live there someday, it seems like a cultural and intellectual paradise, where one could day dream, think deeply about the meaning of life, or different paradigms through out histories, soar with your thoughts, and just simply be inspired by the mere thought of living in a very, very old town, that is home to one of the oldest schools on the planet, and has educated some of the finest and greatest minds through out history. Oh, the mere thought, just gives me goosebumps, and makes me long for old world Oxford !

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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Some Ways to Enjoy London if Your an Expat

The Expats:Katka,Check Republic,Frederico,Spain,Nacima,French via Morocco,and Sabrina,The American. Four friends,getting together for a day on London's Southbank to enjoy Shakespeare at The Globe.Katka and I used to work at the Rizzoli bookstore in Santa Monica together and would cause a bunch of mischievous havoc together. Now living back in Check Republic, she came to visit me in London with her posh American doctor boyfriend, who was really gracious and treated us to pizza after the show.It's a small world after all.

London is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It's a virtual historical theme park. There are more free things to do per square feet. But apart from there being more free galleries and museums than anywhere in the world, London can be seen and enjoyed on any budget. If you are an Expat and you want to see more of London and you've seen British Museum 10 times and you are a bit bored by King Ramses, and you are tired of having tea with the Queen, here are some ideas that will give you some inspiration to delve a bit deeper in English and London culture.

1)Royal Historic Palaces. A membership for a whole year will cost you just £39 and you 'll be able to enjoy free entrance on all five historical palaces for a whole year. In addition be invited to exclusive parties and events for example concerts in Banqueting House. The five Historic Palaces are: Kensingston Palace. Tower of London. Hampton Court. Kew Palace and Gardens. Banqueting House.

The Tower of London

I know Disneyland was modeled after the castle in Germany, but
I can't help it, but The Tower reminds me of Disneyland.It's no Disneyland,for sure,it's filled with ghosts from England's torturous past. Anne Boleyn was decapitated here.Guy Fawkes and countless other poor victims punished for sometimes innocent crimes.Some, were fed to the eels in The Thames River.

Sabrina with the judges at the Anne Boleyn Trial.
Notice that the judge would not let me hold his hand, it had to be like so, very proper Elizabethan Court etiquette, mind you.What I really wanted was to hold the judge with with the dark brooding looks,I mean hold his hand that is.Isn't he gorgeous? I would like to get a job at The Tower of London just so I can look at him all day.

2. London Walks One of London's best kept secrets is The London Walks.Go on a specialized London Walks with the London Walks people.They have walks on Victorian London. Occult London.The London of Harry Potter.Da Vinci Code London. Shakespeare and Dickens London. Many are specialist in their chosen field, some are actors so the walk is not only educational, they can be quite funny and entertaining.

Oscar Wilde( Alan Titchard)- London Walk

3. Thames River Dinner Cruise. This is a great way to see the city and enjoy the architecture. For only about £7 you can get an all day pass. You can go up and down the river. Or, if you are feeling like you want to celebrate and paint the town, go on aRiver Boat Dinner Cruise.

Hey! Save some for me man! My American friend Chuck from Texas, that doesn't like to admit he's from Texas.Can you blame him(Lol!)

After a full day of site seeing, going to about 5 museums, the London Eye then we went on the Bateaux London River Boat Dinner Cruise. It included live music,full 7 course dinner, complimentary glass of champagne,vodka sorbet,desert, and then a bottle of wine to boot. Two crazy Americans in London, we were so happy, we ate, danced and drank and if that wasn't enough when the cruise ended,we hailed a cab to take us to Buddha Lounge to party more. We didn't realize it was just 2 blocks away,How stupid did we feel.Hilarious! This was one of my most memorable and MAGICAL days of many magical days in London!!

The riverboat tour is wonderful it meets at Embankment(across from the tube) and goes first West then makes a loop and at the Tower of London( all sorts of excited hoopla happens there for some reason) and then goes East towards Greenwich. Seeing London by boat is a first class superb way to see all the major London attractions and architecture without walking around or getting into a car.I really recommend the Bateaux Riverboat experience.

4.See Theater-London is perhaps best known for its first-class theater scene. From raucous musicals to serious Shakespearean dramas, there is a show for every taste. Go to a matinee. Matinees are always cheaper than night shows and are generally less crowded. Go to a show just before it starts. If the show is not sold out, leftover tickets are often sold at a lower rate. See shows in the middle of the week rather than on the weekend. Shows midweek are generally less crowded and you are more likely to get cheap tickets. Buy tickets online. Many online ticket agencies offer specials for as low as 10 pounds. But, the best thing to do is just head over to Leicester Square about an hour before the show and buy your tickets. Then, go to a pub, or the Theaters cocktail bar for a drink.

5. The best thing about living in London is that it's so close to so many fantastic English towns:Cambridge,Windsor, Oxford, Brighton,Stonehenge and
Bath just to name a few, and are just a few hours away on the train. You can also travel all over the United Kingdomo, Edinburgh, Scotland and Wales. Book online and in advance and you'll get a good offer. Book online with National Express, Virgin Trains, and Megabus. Megabus, like in America offers really cheap fares even for the same day.

Some Important Websites

More in Sabrina's London Diaries
Dating in London
London Fashion

Friday, 7 August 2009

A Rainy Day in Oxford England

I had to get away from my Italian boyfriend he was buying me too many gifts and hugging me to much ( damn all that loving it's not good for your health !) so I spent 3 days in Oxford but it was mostly raining so I was not up for doing a big walking tour. I shopped around and putzed around, but did really nothing of consequence. I simply enjoy walking around imagining I am some important scholar in the renaissance times. London is only 1 hour from Paddington station on the fast train. There are plenty of vacant youth hostels. Many Spaniards arrive in Oxford to learn English
and reside in these hostels.

Oxford is known as the 'city of the dreaming spires' - a term first coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the gentle spires and harmonious architecture of the city's university buildings. As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.

Because of this famous school Oxford in which many great minds and scholars have attended, it's a town brimming with much intellectual activity and cultural stimulation. On a given day, you can see a new avante garde plays. A rendition of Romeo and Juliet was going on at one of the Colleges. As well as afternoon concerts of Mozart Concerto No. 5 (I am confusing it with Chanel No 5),and Vivaldis Four Seasons. The whole mentally chareged atmosphere is in the air and the whole aura of Oxford. I compare it to where I am from in America, Berkeley California. In my opinion, Oxford has that Berkeley feeling without the patchouli and the marijuana. Like Berkeley a vast majority of the people ride their bikes(like me), which I just love.(I have rode my bike Fee Fee for 4 years before moving to London.Now, I don't dare ride a bike on these crazy London city streets but I still love people that ride their bikes).I still love that old world, old fashion feeling Oxford has and can't wait to get back on another day trip, hopefully this time it won't be raining ( yeah right!). So watch this space, Oxford Part 2.


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