On Monday, we left Dublin on an early morning flight to London Heathrow Airport to pass through Oxford on our way to Birmingham. However, sometimes life doesn't always go as planned… Our flight got delayed from Dublin to London-Heathrow, so we only got to spend a total of 90 minutes, instead of three hours exploring Oxford before we had to get back on the busses to drive to Birmingham.
However, those 90 minutes were jam packed with extraordinary views and sights of Oxford that I think our whole team would have been gutted if we missed. When we got off the bus, half of the group went to the Iffey Road Track and half of the group went to dinner at the Vincent Club.
A little history lesson - The Iffey Road Track at Oxford has great significance because it is the sight at which Sir Roger Bannister ran the first sub four-minute mile. As a sprinter, I can't possibly fathom what that feels like since I never run more than 100m in a given race, but by the sounds of it, that is pretty extraordinary.
As we were walking around and visiting the city and the colleges, what stood out to me the most was the unique architecture. Many of the building were built from white stone and the aesthetic, detail, and uniqueness of the architecture was an amazing sight to see. One significant landmark that we had the privilege of seeing was the outside of their library –The Bodleian Library. Their library was no Lamont or Widener, but it would do…
After visiting the Library, we had the opportunity to see some of their colleges. One in particular our tour guide mentioned was New College. In the cloisters and the courtyard of the college, scenes from Harry Potter was shot. However, this didn't have as much significance to me because I have never once watched or read Harry Potter… In fact, I don't actually like Harry Potter… unpopular opinion. Although I am an outlier, this courtyard had a large significance to many of the teammates and some even began to reenact Harry Potter scenes. The New College Cloisters and The New College Courtyard are in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire quite a few times.
During our 90-minute stay we also had to opportunity to go to the Vincent Club. The Vincent Club is a sports club that has been at Oxford University since 1863 by Walter Bradford Woodgate. Woodgate believed that the club should consist of a picked hundred individuals at the University, that display well-rounded social, physical, and intellectual qualities. Today, the undergraduate membership is no longer just athletes and men, but in 2015 the club started admitting women. The undergraduate membership is limited to 150 at one time and the members are elected for life.
After we had a quick bite to eat at the Vincent Club we headed back to the buses to travel to our next stop… Birmingham!