Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday 30 January - Oxford

On the table at breakfast - I wonder which treacle mine this came from

The weather forecast was for rain later today but although it was cloudy we saw no rain and had a good walk around Oxford.  I wanted to try out the new train service from London Marylebone to Oxford which has only been open for just over a month.  Getting to Marylebone on the Picadilly then Bakerloo lines in the rush hour was an experience. When the Picadilly train doors opened at Gloucester Road they revealed a solid mass of humanity. We hd no option than to put our heads down and charge in. There were not many hand holds available but these were not necessary because we were jammed in so tightly.  I cannot imagine having to do this on the commute every day.

At Marylebone the three car train to Oxford was badly overcrowded with Asian and Far Eastern tourists. There were with at least 20 people standing in each of the three cars.  At Bicester Village the train practically emptied out.  It seems that Bicester has one of the biggest discount malls in the country.

Once we were clear of the London suburbs the ride was through pleasant country although most people ignored this making full use of the on board wi-fi.  The last time I went over this line would have been on the footplate of Clun Castle.on 1 June 1965.

Chiltern trains at Oxford

The arrival in Oxford was unremarkable and we obtained a city map and started our walk.  Oxford has a lot of beautiful architecture, mostly in stone and demonstrating the stone masons' skills.  One needs to stop frequently to admire the features.  We went into the center then turned south an walked past Christ Church cathedral and along the meadows, coming back into town along the High Street.


Magdalen College from the Cherwell

We had a pause for refreshment at this pub.

The bottle glass windows gave some interesting images.
Waiting for the train to Paddington this container train came through on full throttle - it has just got a green signal.
We came back to London on the traditional route via Reading, passing Cholsey and Moulsford where I was Area Manager filling in for two weeks.  Back in London we took a bus ride across town to the Strand to do some shopping. Central London is almost devoid of private cars but the buses, taxis and delivery vehicles manage to create traffic chaos.  The sidewalks were jammed.  Not a pleasant place to visit.

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