Day 249 Off to Oxford, England

The day after arriving in London I had a date to catch up with a friend in Oxford.  Actually Sarah is my twin sister’s friend but that is the bonus of having a twin … extra friends.  I left the boys at the hostel and walked to the bus stop at 7.50 am.  I wanted to get an early start so I could really enjoy my day out in Oxford.  Sarah had given me great directions on how to get there. I managed to find the correct bus to Marble Arch and got on it.  At Marble Arch I found the bus stop I needed to get the Oxford Tube Express bus.  Problems started here!  I could see there was something going on today in  Hyde Park, which I learnt was a half marathon.  Because of this, a sign at the bus stop indicated that the bus I needed would not be stopping at this particular stop between the hours of 8 am and 12 pm.  They kindly indicated two other stops that I could go to. Aaah.  I didn’t really know where I was going so luckily as I was standing there looking silly, a young student from Thailand who was studying at Oxford, also needed to get the bus so said to follow her. She had a better idea of where to go than I did so off we went. 

Fantastic!  I followed her to the tube line, got a train to Victoria Station, walked out and we found the 10A bus stop together and minutes later the correct bus arrived. I paid my 16 pound for a return ticket and found a seat.  Hooray I was finally on the bus; it had taken me 2 hours and 15 minutes from the time I left the hostel just to sit on it … but here is another ‘but’. Due to road closures because of the marathon, it then took the bus one whole hour to drive the length of Hyde Park, which I guess would normally take about 10 minutes!  Once we got past there it was smooth sailing. The bus driver apologised for the lengthy delay, particularly to the poor people at the stops after mine that had been waiting for a very long time and probably thought their bus would never come.

I was ever so glad to arrive in Oxford and called Sarah to let her know I had arrived.  As she lived just around the corner from the bus stop I didn’t have to wait long for her to meet me and we headed back to her little one bedroom basement flat. I had asked Sarah earlier if she had nail polish remover.  Strange request perhaps but I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle and my poor toenails hadn’t seen remover  since we’d been in Sweden!  Sarah was more than happy to share it with me and in fact went a step further and gave me a foot massage and a mini-pedicure so my nails could be all glam again!  Plus whilst she did this I sipped her brew of Mexican hot chocolate and ate some cranberry cookies. Bliss!  After that bit of relaxation and conversation we headed out into Oxford.  Sarah lives in a fantastic location not far from the city centre.

We covered all the coolest sites of Oxford including the Bodleian Library which had a special exhibition on; climbed a church tower for a great view of Oxford; ate some food and drank Pimms in the garden of a very old pub; walked around some of the colleges; did a spot of shopping and strolled back to her flat along a creek in one of the magnificent parks.  By now it was time for me to get the bus back so after a brief hello to Sarah’s boyfriend; we set off for the park-n-ride station to meet the bus again.  Sarah had made me a chicken wrap to eat on the way and I called Steve to let him know that he’d have to go ahead and cook dinner for the boys without me since it was already nearly 6pm.  The bus driver didn’t expect any delays and I enjoyed the ride back to London; eating my wrap on the way and reading a magazine I pulled out of Sarah’s recycling!  Thanks for a great day Sarah!

When I arrived back in London I knew to get off at London Victoria and get the tube to Great Portland Street Station, then walk to the YHA from there.  It is nice when the London transport system works for you!  I was pretty proud of myself for having managed to get all the way to Oxford and back given the number of issues. 

What had the boys done today in my absence?  Well they had the camera (hence no photos of Oxford) so here is a photo exhibition of their day out in London at Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the British Museum.   Patrick asked Steve, “Will there be more than ‘two swords’ at the Museum?”  Probably no swords but many other things!


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