Thursday, July 7, 2011

UK Tour Day 9

By: Danny Howard, Young Men's Ensemble
Danny has been in BCC for two years. He is seventeen years old. 

On our last full day staying in Brum (Birmingham), we went to Oxford to visit a few of the colleges in the University. We tried to leave at the ungodly hour of 9AM, but for some odd reason a dozen of our room keys refused to work! After getting a slightly late start, we got on the road and drove about an hour and a half. The trip was smooth enough, and we got to Merton College with enough time to walk to the chapel and quickly set our things down before our informal concert.

Mia and Kennedy posing in the Merton College Chapel
The chapel at Merton College was not grandiose, but was quaint and beautifully decorated. Although everyone was EXHAUSTED, the chapel made us sound a whole lot better than we felt, as the acoustics were perfect. We were all feeling pretty faint of heart after the concert and one of our singers had to leave the stage after "My Soul's Been Anchored," but once we got some food and water in our bodies we were back to being the loud Americans that we are. Almost all of us dedicated our hour of free time wholly to chowing down before our guided tour around Oxford.


The tour was enlightening though none of us really wanted to be on a two hour WALKING tour in the rain, and seeing (the outside of) the hall where Harry Potter is filmed was especially interesting to many of our singers. We learned a great deal about the immense history surrounding Oxford, including how the town's people (the towns) and the students (the gowns) had a fight that ended in the death of a student back in 1255! The architecture on the campus was incredible and took my breath away a number of times. 
Lots of bonding at dinner time :) 

After the tour was over I asked Dave (our guide) where the BEST cream tea was, and after hearing the instructions led a group of 11 to the famed place. After receiving our trays of scone, jam, clotted cream, and English breakfast tea, we sat down and enjoyed one of the most delightful free times of this trip. We were all so satisfied that we sat around smiling and just appreciating each others' company for almost an hour. After the wonderful tea time we went to dinner (which none of the cream tea-ers ate much of), and had more laughs.  

Shakespeare's Birthplace!
The group has really meshed and even visiting Shakespeare's birth place and home (which was knocked down a while ago) was fun. We finally got back to our hotel at about 9:15 after a long and exhausting day and had to pack to leave Birmingham for London tomorrow! Everyone is excited, and this tour just continues to get better and better! Hope everyone is doing well back in the states, PEACE!


Tim Howard said...

Jolly good write-up! So glad you got to tour Oxford and experience a cream tea. What a wonderful tour! Looking forward to greeting you all tomorrow at the airport.

Meg Howard said...

Daniel, I am so glad you got to indulge in a cream tea and that you shared the memorable experience with so many others! We have shared your blog with lots and lots of friends. Thanks for describing it so well. It makes our day :)
Can't wait to see you Friday. Hope you can make it to the Vineyard ferry in time, but if not, at least we get to see you for a little while. Don't forget to buy lots of tea at a market, if you can, OK? Love you tons and tons, Momma

Alex Gregory said...

Looks like you are having an awesome time, Danny!! When my family was in Scotland we had cream tea every day, I miss it!! Can't wait for you to be in the same time zone as me, so I can hear about all your adventures. xx

Jh said...

Broooo such great writing and a darn good tale. Very happy to hear you've been having such a good run of it. Can't wait to hear more deets when you join us state side