19th Jul 2009 - England 3
The university town of Oxford
We decided to brave the uncertain weather and went to Oxford for the day. Up by 0730 and left the box at 0815 to walk, bus and tube to Paddington Station - a virgin experience. Had enough time for a Costas coffee before all the others arrived. Andrew managed to get us train tickets for 12 pounds return. We are lucky because if booked together we can get a group discount otherwise would have been 20 pounds return. A quick 1 hour 10 mins on the train and we arrived in Oxford by 1045. Decided to go on the hop on hop off bus for 11 pounds and do the whole circuit prior to lunch to then decide what to go back and look at. None of us had ever been to Oxford and werent really sure what we should be looking at. We sat on the top of the bus in the open air and unfortunately after about 10 minute the heavens opened and remained mostly open for the rest of the day. There were no seats inside so I stood for the rest of the hour it took to gt around the circuit. It was pretty miserable actually. Off we got and finally found the pub we had been told about and had a fantastic roast lunch for 8 pounds is a delightful setting. Felt like we were in Victorian England going thru the wee alleys to get there - wonderful. After lunch we did a bit of shopping because it was still pouring with rain. It spoilt what we could do a bit. Managed to see thru the gates of Trinity College and then went on to Christ Church College and cathedral - beautiful setting but did not go inside due to the large queue because as it was Sunday it did not open until 1430 which was exactly the time we were there. Walked to the Alice in Wonderland sweet shop - very small and a bit disappointing - this is where Alice Liddell brought her sweets - she was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's alice in Wonderland. Then as it was still raining we walked down to Oxford Castle as it was mainly indoors. It was the site of history back pre 1066 with the mound and turret castle. It was also more recently until 1996 the site of a prison. Now it is a tourist attraction incorporating the history of Oxford, the history of prisons conditions and dungeons. It was really quite intersting and anybody visiting Oxford should go. About 1730 when we finished and as it was still raining we gave up and headed back to the train station and headed back to London. Home by 2030. Felt a bit hard done by because of the weather and all of us feel the need to go back when it is not raining to hav a proper look around. Also liked the fact the Inspector Morse and Lewis were set here and the little pubs where they used to drink on the TV shows.
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