Oxford and more of London

Oxford Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 32 › view all entries
It was still dark and rainy on the morning of July 2nd. Some might say, "how do you remember that morning?", and my answer is if you so much vividly experienced day by day, and especially for the first few days of impact is hard to forget. It is much more like "minted" in your heart like Elizabeth II in all British coins. Wherever you go, still those feelings and images, senses, perceptions are left somewhere in your brain. And whenever you like them to be on the table, they will be yours instantly and that is probably why we appreciate travelling. It is your life, your past, and your present and future.
Still in the barkston garden's hotel of Earl's court we went to Victoria station. There we bought tickets to Oxford, and then hopped in the Britail. Although the Britail is not a TGV(Train la grand vitesse) type of high-speed train, it is well equipped, well-organized. I remember it was less than two hours from London Paddington, and we arrived at Oxford around 11 am and started walking. There I got one small 3-D map which tells you where to go in that small but truly gothic town of Oxford. We stopped by Christ church, and nearby there students were playing crickets in the green. Still remember the white team suits of all the players on the green, and the sky was so gray. They moved like spots from far distance, but very peaceful. The weather was still not so favorable though not raining. We walked and finally reached a market, and I bought a leather belt, which I have used for ten years since then. It is truly hand-made sturdy leather belt, a bit crude design but you can feel that they are genuine. You can't miss all the famous Oxford colleges in that small town, and riding a bike could be an option to make the trip more pleasant if not raining too much. Remembering the low altitude mountains with pale and dark greens,a british gentleman who wore turquoise t-shirt and white trouser, and jolly sounds of youngsters in the train are still running just in front of my eyes now. Opened up the window, a splash of big droplet of rain hit my cheek, stunned by the cold feeling, and laughed with my friend. The train speeded up more and finally we came back to London.

Now it was the time to see Albert museum and Tate gallery. Perhaps one of the interesting feeling about London is that it provides a unique cultural heritages different from Paris, Rome, or New York. Sounds natural, but still the British art takes its own position so firmly there and perhaps all the lovers of Impressionist and post-modernist somehow feel that they are in a different world in these two spots. I wouldn't say I am totally right, as this is extremely subjective view. I found out my favorite British painter John Constable and Turner, and stood there for a long time to feel the sea in the paintings. The museum is lined with wooden floor, and very comfortable chairs or sofas are waiting for people. I was very attracted by them, and also enjoyed sitting and my eyes were just amused by those paintings for a long time almost the entire afternoon of the day.Sounds strange enough, we haven't talked about what I ate during the day. Perhaps by the time now you have realized that I was only a senior student in college who is totally depending on budget travel, and eating gourmet food is not an option for him. To tell the truth, guess what I have eaten for the first meal in England except those good breakfast at hotel, Macdonald's hamburgers. Believe it or not, two out of three lunches in England were these so called "unhealthy" burgers, but at the same time, I have never had hamburgers in my life until then, so it was another cultural experience. I was shocked by those burgers not having any vegetables (not even tomatoes), just having cheddar cheese and patty. Although it was gruesome, a hungry student was never complaining to have these burgers and milkshakes. Now the big difference is that if I travel now, I probably not eat those hamburgers, but my budges will allow me to find good ones in London.

Back to the St.Paul's cathedral and Parliament house, we took some more pictures and overlooked river Themes, and enjoyed the old city of London. The history of London goes back to Roman empire, which Roman solidiers were building up fortress and it largely matches with current important spots of London. Its big fire in 1666, it lost valuable assets up to that time point, but it also burnt all filthy environments which caused often pandemics such as typhoid fever and the black death. It is not surprising that London suffered this in 17th century, and only the recent 150 years are "relatively" clean for human living in such an advanced country. Although I have
looked at river Themes with quite an excitement, in 1950-60s, river Themes were the one of the worst river for its water quality. Back to our journey, I have been thinking the past, present and future of this great multi-cultural city, and there is no doubt that it would evolve into a huge melting pot or salad bowl to say the least.

The second night of London was already falling down, and tomorrow we were supposed to see Windsor, the residence of Queen of England with Buckingham palace.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: petit_gooroo