Well, this week was a whole bunch of days off! Obviously, a number of adventures ensued.
First of all, four of us took a little excursion into London on the weekend. There were some things that I had a hard time interpreting.
What I DID understand was that riding in the front seat of the top floor of a double-decker bus is more or less the best thing ever.
After wandering about and doing some wholly unnecessary shopping (please understand that this "wandering and shopping" represents several hours), we had a lovely dinner on the water before heading home.
A great number of the weekdays were unscheduled, so I didn't take many pictures then. But do not let this lead you to believe that these days were wasted! No no, dear readers, we simply filled our time with exploring the town, finding a hidden street market, trying new sandwich shops, having a tasty Thai dinner, meeting and greeting another American program, visiting some of the 60 principle pubs of Oxford, and doing the eensy weensiest amount of actual work.
Wednesday was my only day of class this week, wherein I met my History of Architecture professor and found out NOT ONLY that he is totally chill and is planning a very laid back curriculum, NOT ONLY that he has an awesome Scottish accent, NOT ONLY that the class has but 2 big projects, BUT ALSO that one of those projects is DESIGN, NOT ESSAY! We're ALSO using pretty advanced 3D modelling and video software to model our designs! This software is ALSO used in movie production! He ALSO suggested that I audit a lecture section on today's most advanced animation software that ALSO happens not to conflict with any of my tutorials! Needless to say, this was a pretty good day for me.
Thursday was our big excursion day. At 8:30 sharp we boarded the bus and headed off to Old Sarum, which is pretty much a pile of ruins. Ruins atop a very beautiful green expanse, ruins that tell a story of yestermillenium, yes, but pretty much just a pile of ruins.
(Might I add that the new panoramas that you see in this post are of a much higher grade, because I have upgraded to PanoLab Pro, which, as you can see, is much higher quality, and which, as I can tell you, is only very slightly less free than the original.)
After Old Sarum, we rolled down the hill to Salisbury, where we saw swans on the River Avon as we walked in....
and the Salisbury Cathedral as the main attraction!
By the way, this is a clock in the cathedral, which is supposed to be the oldest working clock in existence!
Before boarding the bus again, we grabbed some lunch at a nearby pub (what was essentially a hot version of a ploughman's lunch and cheesy chips with salt and vinegar mmmm!). Pub food may be unhealthy, but it is the most delicious combination of fats and starches that you will ever let settle, heavy and warm, into your midday stomach.
Next up was Stonehenge! It was about as amazing as you'd expect, though I admit that the paved walking path that circled the thing sort of took away from the splendor. (You can't actually go up to the structure, you just have to follow this path that goes around several meters' distance from it.) Pictures!
Our last stop was Avebury, which has its own henge, but was largely uninteresting after seeing THE henge. I did enjoy the sweeping green fields and the sheep that graze all around the henge rocks, though! (Apparently the government owns the land and uses it for grazing land as well as a tourist attraction, so you wander around looking at the rocks and there are sheep everywhere! No fences!)
Here is the wide view (notice the large stones).
And a flattering close-up.
And that was the week! Today was the beginning of Maths Week, which is where the math-related freshmen come a week early for review before starting the term. (Oh, to be around my people again; it was wonderful.) And tomorrow, I have my first real History of Architecture class! Term starts soon, which means next update (or the one after that) will include Freshers' Week (a series of informational fairs and HUGE school-sponsored parties for the freshmen), moving into our homestays, and my first Graph Theory class. So stay tuned!