Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 5: Yale University

The two-hour drive to New Haven turned into almost three because of our first encounter with rain, which was with us the whole drive. We hoped we weren't going to have the day washed away. Was still raining as we arrived for the info session but only drizzling by the time we stepped outside for our tour.

Yale is known for its Gothic architecture and the campus is simply lovely...exactly what you'd expect a college campus, or Hogwarts, to look like.

The first building we visited housed The Commons Dining Hall, the largest facility on campus, now with organic food available. It was under reconstruction because Steven Spielberg had just finished using it to film the next edition of the Indiana Jones series; he turned the dining hall into a library [?!] and now it was being transformed back into a dining hall again.

But Indiana Jones isn't Harry Potter, and if Yale is anything, it's Harry Potter [yes, that's a snarky Columbia-type remark]. Because the Yale residential college system is exactly what's in the Harry Potter books, and aside from the talking hat, the system works exactly as described by J.K. Rowling. The college we toured was Saybrook College, with a gorgeous courtyard.

The dining hall...kind of looks familiar, doesn't it?

And just so you don't forget who preceded you there:

Sterling Library is the main library on campus, and was designed to look like a cathedral.

The tour was surprisingly short, there was so much campus to see. Guess we hit the main landmarks, also including Harkness Tower, once the second tallest free standing structure in the world [until the architect poured acid on it to make it look old, which weakened it so much it had to be taken down and reinforced with steel]...

...the main quad...

and the War Memorial plaza.

A few slices of pizza off campus, and we were on our way back to New Jersey.