February Walking IN Whales and Winchester

I have done a decent amount of travel around England recently! One of the senior tutors in my program is a member of Christ Church College where he got his D-Phil (what they call a Phd at Oxford).

Christ Church produced some very notable alumni including: Lewis Carroll, John Locke, 13 Prime Ministers, Albert Einstein did research here, founder of Pennsylvania William Penn, and John Wesley the founder of Methodism! Many of whom can be seen in the paintings in their dining hall.

The real reason to really love Christ Church though is it was where many scenes in Harry Potter were filmed!

I also joined the Oxford Walking Society! It is a group of Oxford students that go on hikes in England and Wales. Most of them are actually not British students (or Welsh)! In fact, most are not undergraduates either. They are mostly graduate students studying at Oxford from the Netherlands, Denmark, France, and Germany. I did meet one other undergraduate American who is a girl studying abroad from Columbia! She and I have started hanging out. It's funny I joined an Oxford club to meet British people and found the exact opposite!

Our first trip was to Wye Valley in Wales which is absolutely beautiful!

You may have noticed that I have become obsessed with counting my steps. Under 2,500 steps a day you are sedentary, over 5,000 is lightly active, over 7,500 is active and 10,000 or more is highly active (about 4.5 miles a day).

On this trip, I walked 32,000 steps. That is three times the need to be highly active. It was a total of 12 miles and 700+ calories burned!

We also saw plenty of sheep just wandering around in Wales which was really cool!

My program took a tour to Winchester England! We got to see Winchester Cathedral and Winchester Castle. In the cover photo I am standing outside of the old stone wall in Winchester.

This used to be the crypt but because of frequent flooding in Winchester they can't use it for a crypt since it is often filled with water. In the last twenty years they added a contemporary statue of a man praying/reading so that when it does flood he looks like he is contemplating his reflecting!
A view of four different ceilings in Winchester Cathedral!

Afterwards we went to Winchester castle! Once believed to be the home of King Arthur. Henry VIII commissioned a table that was believed to have been King Arthur's to be painted with the knights of the round tables names and to have the building decorated in his honor to impress the visiting Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. They made the stained glass of King Arthur look like Henry VIII when he was younger in hopes of indicating that he was a direct descendent. Modern carbon dating has proven to the scientists that the tree from the table was from the 13th century when King Arthur is believed to have been from the 6-7th century.

They also held many trials at Winchester Cathedral. All but the main hall (where the table stands) was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. Ironically, centuries later the last trials that were held here were those of the IRA.

I am heading off to another trip to Whales next weekend and more tours of Oxford! I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of my travels!

XOXO, Katie

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