Day 4: Oxford, UK
Another glorious day in London! We’ve been so very lucky with our weather so far, especially knowing that London can be so dismal! While it certainly hasn’t been warm out, and Shamsa has regularly requested that it “stop winding”, at least it’s not raining!
Our mission today was to visit Oxford and reunite with my friend Hannah and meet her partner Emyr for the first time. Trying to avoid London rush hour, we left about 9, just in time for a 9:50 First Great Western train from Paddington. We hopped aboard and settled in for the approx 1 hour journey. Sadly, at Slough (strangely pronounced ‘Sl-ow, as in ouch that hurt), the train had some sort of technical problem and stopped working.
This meant we had to get off, and wait in the bitter cold for the next train along to Oxford which was meant to be about 20 minutes later. About 10mins in and freezing, we heard the announcer say something about the next train to Oxford from platform 4 so we decided to hop on that. In the split second prior to getting on, I noticed under the train destination on the schedule board that the train was a ‘local service’ train. However, this did not compute so once we boarded the train and realized it would take us much longer to get to our destination we knew we’d have to get off again. Luckily, once we got off at Reading, we caught another train which went directly to Oxford, where the lovely Hannah and Emyr were waiting for us!
We were treated to a top-notch tour of the city. We had an absolutely delicious coffee at The Missing Bean, then continued on with a tour to places like the library, most of the colleges, the spot where CS Lewis thought of Narnia (including the lamppost itself!), the oldest pub called the Bear, which was so neat and historic, learned many interesting facts, such as why people wear carnations to exams, ate at the Chequers, where Emyr used to work, and then watched some of the action at ‘Torpids’.
For those of you not in the know, Torpids is the rowing competition including heats between the different colleges. It was so cool to watch and such a great vibe onshore that I was trying to figure out ways to go to Oxford just so I could join the crew!
Once we’d had our Torpids fill, we got a hot chocolate at George and Danvers before heading for the train. With a stroke of luck, our train was right there at the station and they were able to open the door just prior to departure and let us on!
Lastly, upon arrival back in London, we headed to Kings Cross are for some amazing food at Merkato, and Ethiopian restaurant. So utterly delicious. We will miss London!