Oxford, United Kingdom
Another day another few kilometres of walking!! Today we met up with Mike, Dons, Charlotte and Harry at Oxford University. The train trip out to Oxford was pleasant enough, as it should be for $50 return trip.
The city of Oxford is beautiful and for once the sun was shining for longer than 10 minutes. As we approached the University we bumped in to Mike and Co coming out of the Tesco supermarket with their lunch. You gotta love families who travel on a budget, they introduced us to the the £3 lunch menu at Tesco.
Goodbye Pret-A-Manger and hello Tesco!!
After our lovely lunch in the grounds of Oxford University it was onto the private tour that Dons had organised.
The tour comprised of many references to Alice In Wonderland and of course, Harry Potter. Fortunately we had Harry and Charlotte to fill in the blanks of this tour as between Hugh and I we had only read 2 Harry Potter books and seen the Johnny Depp version of Alice In Wonderland!! The buildings around Oxford University are extraordinary and a marvel to look at. The students are currently on their ‘summer’ break so we we were able to visit most of the buildings on campus.
Our favourite story about Oxford was the fact that Bob Hawke drank 2 and a half pints of beer in 11 seconds at a tavern down a small lane way near the University. Now if this is what it takes to become a Rhode Scholar then we all have a chance.
After the tour Mike, Hugh and I paid homage to Bob and had 1 pint of beer at the ‘White Horse’ over a bowl of hot chips but took a little longer than 11 seconds to finish it. Dons and the kids did a far better job over their soft drinks thanks in part to Harry’s excitement around the table and spilling these drinks everywhere. Thanks to Mike’s reflexes, and the fact Harry has done this more times than he cares to remember, not a drop of beer fell…..Phew.
On our way back to the train station we decided to visit every Varsity Shop that sold ‘authentic’ Oxford University paraphenalia in the hope of buying a momento of the trip. As Mike made the observation that the jumpers looked like Melbourne Grammar colours, that was enough to dissuade Hugh and he stopped looking, but I parted with a tenner and bought myself a cap which I will never wear and it will sit nicely next to my Yankees cap at home.
Managed to catch the 5.30pm train home only to enter the First Class carriage, as it had less people at that end of the platform, and had to then walk the length of the 5 carriages to find a seat in economy. As luck would have it we found 2 seats together only to discover upon departing the train at Paddington that they were Reserved. Whoops, sorry to whoever was looking for these seats but they were very comfortable!
Decided to venture out of Paddington Station to find something to eat for dinner only to return to the station half and hour later having found nothing. Caught train to Trafalgar Square, again proceeded to walk around finding somewhere to eat for dinner only to return to the station an hour later, still hungry, and almost walked off our feet. In the end we had dinner at a pub 5 minutes from our Hotel. Could someone in London please start up a Grill’d franchise for moments when all you want is a quick burger for dinner on the way home.
Finally made it home around 9.30pm, almost saw the sun go down and as usual fell in to bed exhausted from another day of walking and sightseeing.