Oxford, with a Kinks tune to accompany you.
The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford Uni’s library section only open to researchers or people with clever researcher friends who can get you in. Unfortunately I didn’t know anyone clever enough as I have never been able to put a foot in there. Most famous building in town.
For people who haven’t been, Oxford actually looks like Turner’s painting: a studenty Harry Potter setting with a bit of a cruel Alice in Wonderland feeling to it (Lewis Carroll wrote it while he was teaching there, for his friend-the-Dean-of-Christ-Church-College’s daughter. No judgement on the nature of his feelings for the child, too late, we will never know now. And let’s assume the best, as a principle)
Oxford is the equivalent of Eurodisney for very young adults: it looks like a fairytale ; there is ALWAYS a party going on somewhere ; girls look like dolls in their skirts/belts showing their amazing spraytanned pins – at first a bit shocking for the we-always-have-to-be-classy-and-not-show-too-much-flesh-French girls, but we soon learn to do the same and enjoy showing our legs off without being called a slut by anyone in the street to be honest. Although not in winter, that I still can’t do ; there are barbecues going on everywhere and even if it’s super cold outside – no, we will NOT be put down by the cold. We can do anything as long as it’s not raining, even wear flipflops in February if we like ; and, the most important thing of all, you make so many friends in so little time.
You have never seen such an international crowd. I got a notebook at home with words of Greek, Italian, Farsi, Portuguese, German, Catalan, Polish, Chinese that my friends taught me. Realized how little we know about others by staying home. This home concept is a bit reductive now anyway.