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20 Hours in Oxford

Back in November, before jetting up to Glasgow, I tacked one day in Oxford onto my England trip after The Cotswolds based on a suggestion from a friend of a friend, and the recommendation did not disappoint.

It's hard to imagine my study abroad experience anywhere other than Australia, but The University of Oxford is out of a damn English storybook. I arrived at 1pm and left 20 hours later. The city centre is nice and compact -- the perfect university town -- and easily walkable in its entirety...if you spend basically all 20 hours walking, which, luckily for my camera and not so luckily for my feet, I did! My time in Oxford was bookended by two fairly long train rides, so who needs breaks if they aren't for food or beer? Apparently, not I.

Below was the email I received with my Oxford to-dos. As you can see, my friend's friend left no stone unturned (thanks BH & CC!). With the amount of time I had, I'm well pleased to say I either stopped at, walked past, or visited the majority of items on her list, including: St. John's College, Head of the River, The King's Arms, The Bear, The Covered Market (ate my Ben's Cookies so fast I didn't nab a photo), Najar's, Turl Street, Christ Church & their meadows, (the outside of) The Bodleian Library, and a few highlights of my own, most non-negotiably, the boathouses on the Thames.

Doesn't it make you want to get a bike, a backpack, a new set of pens, and enroll in classes again?

I was lucky enough to avoid any kind of rain longer than a 10-minute drizzle, par for the course for England as we all know, and was gifted with blue skies, which really just makes the photos pop, don't you think?

Steak pie, chips, and hot cabbage that I never need to eat again
Similarly not on board with warm, flat English beer, but when in Rome...

My camera didn't pick it up too well -- or I couldn't be fussed to mess with the settings longer than 90 seconds -- but there was a stunningly large moon that came out as I was finishing my walk around one of the college gardens. I got back to my hostel around 8pm, markedly avoided editing any of said photos from the day, crashed pretty early, and was up just as early in order to get in another 12,000 steps before my train at 1pm.

When it comes to rowing and crew talk, I get pretty giddy. Chalk it up to years of racing and coaching and drooling over the Summer Olympics. Naturally, I had to see the boathouses on the Thames, bright and crisp and early, and unfortunately on a morning when no one was practicing.

University College boathouse, the crown jewel

Rounding out my six miles before noon, I got breakfast, bought a trinket at Lewis Carroll's original Alice in Wonderland shop, walked through Christ Church College, and hit the train station with a bag full of Ben's Cookies, ready for my seven-hour journey north.

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