Today was the first time since Friday that I actually stepped out of my room (going food shopping down the road doesn’t count). I was going on an epic adventure across the town to find where my exams coming up were supposed to take place. I took this action because I had no clue where half of the buildings were, and one was on an entirely different campus. So I put on my shorts and tee-shirt ready for a day of walking in warm weather. I gathered the maps of the campuses that I had found, packed myself up with cookies (because who knew how long I’d be wandering around if I got lost) and headed off before I could change my mind and stay in bed.
The first place was easy enough to find, which is odd, as I had a lecture in the building at the start of term and I got lost following a path down the lake for forty minutes and I had to give up, all I needed to do was extend my journey down a path and I was there, rather than turning off to my usual route. At first I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place at all as the buildings looked a little run down and in need for attention, but I progressed until I found the first exam hall and marked it off my checklist.
To get to the second building the map told me that the easiest way to get there was to follow a path. I started following it thinking it would be more concrete in a concrete jungle, but the grey tarmac suddenly stopped short and I was on a dirt track. Was I going the right way? Moreover, when I looked up from my map I found that the dirt path was running through some woods. Pretty, granted, but I was worried I would find myself lost in the forest with lions, and tigers, and bears. Oh my! I must not have been on the right path. But still I progressed forward, curious to see if it was right and stumbled upon a cute little wooden bridge crossing a river. To my left there was also a stone damn crossing it and a man was sat on it eating sandwiches in the sunlight. Incidentally that path did lead to the main campus, another spot of paradise amongst the city, and soon I found myself at building two.
To find building three (the final building) I had to go to the other campus, the one I had never even heard of until I got my exam-timetable and had never even seen it. But from the second building you had to take a straight line. So I took it and followed it down to the road it was on. I now know the whereabouts of the hospital if ever I need to walk to it in an emergency (though i doubt in an emergency I’d be able to walk for twenty five minutes). However I had not found the new campus. The map said that the entrance was next to the hospital, but there was no obvious way to get in, and there wasn’t any sign posting.
Eventually I found a pedestrian entrance and the second I opened that door I felt like I was transported into an Oxford college as it was all old brick, stoas with wooden beams and tiled floors, and enclosed courtyard gardens with fountains and tall hedges. It was beautiful, unlike the other campus which was modern and big, and quiet. While I was walking around I only saw four other people and two of them, possibly three, were staff. I’m not doing it any justice but the atmosphere was different to the usual campus. Instead of student housing the pedestrian entrance looked out at tall, white Victorian town-houses with black doors (the kind you see in the swanky parts of London). It was swish. Suddenly when a man walked by in loafers, chinos and a crisp pink shirt I felt out of place in my satin shorts and cotton tee-shirt. The Campus even had classically inspired triglyphs and metopes dotted about, even pediments and guttae! Why is this not the place to study archaeology?!
My plan was to go on the walk and then go into town for a potter about, but I had walked for two hours total, without stopping and I was exhausted. Luckily a gust of wind made my decision as it blew dust all over my face and into my eye, I was going home instead. So, like a good hobbit would do I huffed, turned around and took a half hour journey back home. Besides I couldn’t figure out how to get into town as it didn’t say on my campus maps and the signposts lost me anyway. I don’t know how Sam and Frodo managed to make it to Mordor when I was so tired after that.
My first exam is tomorrow. Hopefully I won’t forget how to get there!