Oxford – the mini trip

October 29, 2007 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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A while ago I went for a mini reunion with Richard and Rhiannon to Oxford. Richard acted as guide as we wandered around in the inner city for the day. That is when we weren’t eating and drinking or sitting! Though I needed to wait a while for anything on this day after birthday trip. Ouch! My head.

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I didn’t know anything about Oxford before arriving – other than it has/is a university but no campus. Talking about a campus in the Oxbridge context is apparently a capital punishment offence. Basically in Oxford as well as Cambridge and much of London the universities are spread out over any number of buildings but are not located in a set environment.

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The historic buildings of the university easily put to shame any other university I’ve walked through but the lack of green space is a minus. That is until you arrive at one of the colleges, in our case, Magdalen College (pronounced maudlin) that includes a deer park (just because), sports fields and parks. Oh and punting but more on that later. So while the university doesn’t appear to have much green the colleges (where students spend most time) are enormous and historic in their own right. Belonging to a college provides a cache of respect (or mockery) depending on its respective strengths, age and money.

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We also took the opportunity to walk around the canals and watched the attempts by the many different punters as they tried or more often failed in successfully navigating the waterways. Then again the alcohol being imbued by some may be causing the problem.

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After wandering around the town centre we had high tea and moved on to dinner. Being seated by the windows provided the best opportunity to watch the early nightlife of the city – including at least a half-dozen hen’s nights. Popular!

That night I stayed at  Rewley House via LateRooms and despite many dead bees in the stairwell I had a restful sleep in my cheap ensuite bedroom with complimentary breakfast the next day (I missed it – sleep is good). The next day I walked through the crisp morning air to the train station. Goodbye to Oxford and hello again London.

Oxford is a pleasant escape from the busy streets of London but if it weren’t the prospect of visiting friends I probably wouldn’t rush to come and visit again. It’s nice, it’s historic but it isn’t necessarily inspiring for a return journey. Perhaps greater investigation of a guide book would change my mind or am I secretly a Cambridge supporter?       

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