Had to go to Paddington Station to catch a “real” train to Oxford. Our first experience with this type of train in the UK and it got more confusing when the trains to Oxford were cancelled due to track problems near London. Fortunately, they still have human agents who sold us tickets straight to Oxford and then told us to get on the Reading train and get on an Oxford train from there. Worked like a charm but added some travel time.
Oxford is as beautiful as we expected. Like London, we started with an on and off bus to see everything and get our bearings. Also, like London, it is surreal when the audio tour talks about 862 CE this and 944 CE that. They seem to consider the 17th century recent history. On a plaque somewhere on a wall in Oxford was a quote from Yeats which, paraphrased, basically said that Oxford is so beautiful one expects the people to sing rather than speak (our granddaughter, Kate, would love that and fit right in).
Again everything is squished in, up and down, some of the tiniest bathrooms (loos) I have ever seen! More steps than I want to navigate.
We got off the bus to explore the Covered Market (everyone said to see it) and had lunch at a Thai stall (again one cannot believe what they can fit in any given space). It is mostly a food market (fruits, vegetables, meat) with some other items for the tourists.
The Brits are a wonderful lot. So friendly, nice, helpful. It is quite amazing when you consider the density. In the US we seem to find people less and less nice the more crowded they get.
Loved seeing the Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum. A little difficult to conceptualize that many books in the first and the amount of man’s history captured in the second (actually in both). We have a friend (Hi, Diane) who has been coming to study every summer for several years. We now understand why she keeps returning. What an amazing city.