Monday, 25 July 2011

Trip to Oxford (Part 1)

As I mentioned in the previous post, on the Tuesday Norma, Emily and I drove up to Oxford for a couple of days.  Emily and I have never been to Oxford before but Norma lived there for a few months a number of years ago.  We decided to go straight to the Premier Inn in Didcot where we'd be spending the night, leave the car and get a taxi to the station so we could catch the train into Oxford.
I know neither Norma or Emily will thank me for posting this photo but it was the first stage of our trip ;-)
Once we got in to Oxford, we caught a taxi to the town centre so we could begin exploring. I love going to new places and seeing the buildings in the town/city.  Oxford certainly didn't disappoint! I think perhaps because I grew up in South Africa which is still a fairly "new" country (the first settlers went there in 1820) I'm fascinated by old buildings that have been around for centuries, in some cases.
These buskers were fairly lively and the chap on the left, with the hat on, was quite entertaining :)
As it was lunch time by the time we got in to Oxford, we decided to go and have some lunch first before starting to explore. We finally settled on The Crown as the menu at the entrance had food each of us would enjoy.
Much better photo of Norma and Emily
We spent a good part of the afternoon just wandering around trying to get our bearings and enjoying the shops and the scenery.
There are loads of bicycles in Oxford, very like Cambridge.
Now, if I remember correctly, the houses on either side of this bridge were once owned by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. He lived in one house and she lived in the other and they would cross over the bridge to get from one house to the other.
After trying to find places following the map we had, we finally found out that this is part of Trinity College. We had walked past it a few times but because there's no sign to say what it is, hadn't realised.

Unfortunately, on that first day, the weather turned quite chilly and did eventually rain. One of the things Emily had wanted while we were in Oxford was a University hoodie/sweatshirt. When it turned chilly she was okay as she pulled on her sweatshirt and was nice and warm.  I was so tempted to go and buy one for myself but thought I might look a bit odd walking around in one at my age!
Our final stop that day was Christ Church College. A scene for one of the Harry Potter movies was filmed there and Emily was keen to go.  Unfortunately, as with the other colleges, Christ Church wasn't open that day because students were writing exams. However, the gentleman on the gate told us it would be open the following day after breakfast.  That settled it, we would be going back into Oxford the next day.

By the time we got back to the hotel our feet were aching and we couldn't wait to flop for a while. We had booked to have a fairly early dinner in the restaurant attached to the hotel (food was lovely) and then it was back to the room for an early night.