The Education To Perform

Oxford Travel Blog

 › entry 39 of 43 › view all entries

Such a beautiful city, it's difficult to know where to begin.  Well, I suppose the start is a good place…  I’d booked a day off work to coincide with my given Thursday off, so that gave me an overnight stay away to play with.  It was Dora’s birthday, and she’d chosen Oxford as our destination (I would have chosen Alton Towers personally).  I found a reasonably priced hotel within walking distance of the city, and so away we went.  

It wasn’t a great drive from Nottingham, but just over two hours later, we had arrived, and quickly found our hotel.  A fairly slow, and nervy check-in (we weren’t sure if anyone was home) later, and we dropped off bags, and hit the nerve centre.

  The entire vibe of the place became immediately apparent, and with a faulty phone, I failed to capture much of the think tank in a photographically digital memory, and instead, will have to settle for the hazy, selective one instead; that’ll do for me.  It’s such a fascinating place for the intellectual energy that surrounds, so that memories are of what you’re amongst, rather than the artistic or spiritual brilliance of the city.  I would, in fact, say that the city isn’t so artistic (it does have its venues, certainly), or spiritual, but far more scientific and political.  Names such as Cromwell; Blair; Cameron, and several others, were educated there.  Then again, so were some of our best writers, and literate geniuses, of whom C.
S.Lewis is arguably the most noticeable (there’s even an Alice In Wonderland shop there).  I suppose it is what you make of it, but for me, I noticed the logical brain cells tingle more than anything else.

So Dora and I began our little get away with a first little stroll to the city.  We walked past the river, and considered a little boat ride, but Dora was far more keen to spend some time seeing the city, and in particular the more famous Pitt Rivers Museum.  Personally, I found the museum to be a bit of a playground.  It’s kind of a well laid out bit of everything.  I loved strolling amongst the dinosaurs, and then the skeletons of modern day animals, as well as the taxidermy, and I couldn’t help but be a bit lateral in thinking, and comparing the recent mammals to those of yester… day, year, century, millennia, you get the point…

With the geeky side of myself well exposed, we moved into another room, filled with artefacts from all over the history of the world.

  With the traveller in me, buzzing, I wandered off, and set about getting amongst it all, and playing a selfish game of guess the country from the memorabilia.  There were several nostalgic moments for me, in particular, the various South and Central American artefacts. 

That absorbed the bulk of our day.  We did a bit more of a city loop, and visit various shops, and churches, as well as the theatre, and university grounds.  We played Harry Potter at a fair few of the venues too, and recognised several places from the films.  Dora visited the Carfax tower for a few view of the city, whilst I slowly walked around a few streets, and other pints of interest. The city is basically full of colleges, and you constantly find yourself bumping into them.

For the evening, we tried so hard to find a few venues to mix amongst the student crowds, but after a hefty meal, and one helluva Eton Mess desert, we were both a bit full, and fatigued from our day.  We did enjoy a few real ales (at least I did, whilst Dora enjoyed an equally English G+T), but neither of us had the legs for a more eventful evening.  To be honest, it was a Wednesday evening, and the city did seem to present a midnight curfew, though I’m certain it would have a reasonable student nightlife to offer to those more adventurous in that department.  

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photo by: petit_gooroo