Oxford: a brief but wonderful trip! I arrived on Friday after work and checked in to the hostel. I left booking a place a little late this time around and had to accept a bed in an 18 bed mixed dorm hostel. Both nights, the men far exceed the women by around 14:4 and I was forced to remember the musky, smelly, man scent that they leave behind when in hoards.
I met a few cool guys in the hostel and 3 of us went to grab some dinner from town. To get there I had to walk over a bridge with willows weeping over the edge of the water and it was my first introduction to how beautiful Oxford really is.
After a busy few weeks I was pretty tired so I chilled in the hostel and chatted to various friendly guys. Last weekend was a weekend with the girls and this one was definitely a weekend with the guys!
The next morning I was up early and after finding a lovely restaurant for breakky I went exploring. I had passed a sign to Oxford castle on my way to breakfast so I decided that was a good place to start! I walked around Oxford castle and gardens. I found a little market opening up behind it.
I carried on but due to the construction of a shopping centre the bridge close by was closed and there were pedestrian diversion signs to go around. I started making my way along that diversion but at some point missed a turn and ended up at the end of a street with a beautiful old church. It had the most overgrown and unkept cemetery on its grounds which was both beautiful and sad. Weeds and grasses were as tall as the headstones in most places, headstones were falling and crumbling and in pieces in the grass. A large portion of the cemetery was a children’s cemetery and most dates I could make out were the mid 1800s. I wondered why it is not looked after and spent some time reflecting on life and how blessed I am to be experiencing each day, travelling the world and loving my life.
I left the cemetery and found my way back to the diversion I should have been on however a few hundred metres up the road I came across a clearing where I could see a river walk and opted for that instead. I walked by the river and came to a meadow that was bustling with people enjoying the beautiful day by the river or on the river itself in various boats and canoes. Many had wine and music in their canoes as they spent the day on the water. There were cows chilling and having a scratch against the trees in a field that separated the meadow walk and the town, and you could see the pillars of clock towers and turrets that belonged to one of the Oxford university colleges in the distance.
I took my shoes off and sat for a while by the waters edge, in the last of the seasons daffodils. Two families of ducks with ducklings following swam by. Women telling men where to row while they did all the work went by me too. Children laughed and played on the path behind me yet there were many moments of stillness and I soaked up the opportunity to be surrounded by the beautiful stillness and life that nature simultaneously holds.
With the prediction of rain later in the afternoon and clouds starting to roll in, I kept on and headed towards town. Many of the Oxford Uni colleges were open to see the grounds and I explored the back streets of the town through the college areas and had a look through. They were all old and beautiful yet different in style and feel.
I found a Lebanese street food van to grab some lunch and sat on the steps of a monument overlooking another overgrown cemetery in the middle of town.
The main streets of Oxford had beautiful old buildings mixed with some new. The town was lively yet had a calm and warm energy about it. I wandered the streets a little more, through the markets and made my way back to the hostel right before the storm came in. I played a few games of pool while the storm rained itself out and then headed back out with a new friend from the hostel (who says he is no good at pool but is actually a total shark). I grabbed Thai and as he has only just arrived in the UK he was in search of the famous fish and chips. We visited 3 pubs/Cafes who advertised fish and chips on their menu but whom had run out or finished serving until we ended up over the other side of town in one of oxfords oldest pubs, tucked away between town and the Uni district. Here he got his fish and chips! We sat and had a drink and a laugh and deep conversations about India (where he is from) and society’s mentality as a whole. Before we knew it, the time had flown by and we headed back to the hostel for bed.
This morning I found another cafe for breakky and headed back to London to enjoy an absolutely beautiful day (25° and sunshine)!
Thanks for the memories Oxford ✌🏼