an afternoon in Oxford
Oxford Travel Blog› entry 61 of 68 › view all entries
I slept most of the ride, as I had begun doing more often toward the end of my trip. The scenery had gradually become usual to me as the novelty of these wonderfully lush and historic islands slowly faded from awe to familiarity. I had also developed a more discerning eye for my surroundings and sleep was an ever-growing priority, yet my appreciation remained reverent.
Feeling refreshed from my rest on the train, I arrived in Oxford ready to tackle my itinerary. Asking for directions, I was surprised to learn that there is no singular “Oxford University,” but rather several colleges and universities within the city of Oxford. Finding Oxford Castle, I was disappointed that appeared to be more of an office building under renovation than a historical landmark, so I continued by without even taking a photo. Likewise unassuming was Carfax Tower, which I missed and doubled back to find.
The tower was so short, only about four stories, that it would not have been worth my time to climb to the top for the low-angle view of the city’s rooftops. The Museum of Oxford, however, is a beautiful structure (just remember to look up from across the street). Located in the middle of a row of buildings facing others across the street, there is no good vantage point for photographing it without a wide-angle lens.
Less was my attraction to the front façade of Christ Church College, but the tour inside revealed much more. I marveled at the great hall, which filmmakers modeled a set after for the Harry Potter movies.
Past the Botanic Garden and Radcliffe Camera, through a few uni entrance gates, I stepped in for quick peaks at campus life along college row. The historic architecture and intellectual atmosphere bestowed unto me inklings to the culture of scholastic excellence in this city of highest education.
Investigating Chunnel prices in the station travel office, I missed one train to London. To get to Paris by Eurostar, I learned, would have cost about $150 US, so I hesitated to make the purchase. Before the next departure, I tried ringing Clara to arrange our reunion. Frustratingly, however, I had an inordinately hard time operating the foreign payphone and failed to get through to her, so I decided to try again in London, I hopped the next train.