As Holly and I stepped out of the station, crossed the busy road, and over the bridge into town a police car with all it's sirens on screeched past us. The roadworks made the roads not only difficult for cars to navigate, but difficult for pedestrians to cross, especially where all the traffic lights were out. Cars seemed to be appearing from every direction and we ran across the road towards the city centre. Several more sirens screeched past us, and I commented that clearly someone had died as, after all, Oxford is where Lewis is filmed (and I secretly love that programme, two words: Laurence Fox).
It was once we were walking down the High Street, past all the usual stores you'd find in any town in the UK, when Holly commented to me that Oxford was not what she was expecting. Nor was it what I was expecting. I'd visited before, maybe four or five years ago, with my then partner to watch the local football team play. We hadn't gone into town, and definitely not to the part of Oxford everyone recognises.
All Souls College
I'd been following signs for the Radcliffe Camera, feeling certain that there were several sights to be seen there. The spires were getting ever closer as we looked up and we felt certain we must be in the vicinity of the 38 colleges that make up the university. We crossed yet another busy road and turned up a little lane.
The Radcliffe Camera; isn't it magnificent?
Right in front of our eyes was the yellow-stone buildings of Oxford university, the magnificent Radcliffe Camera. Spires surrounded the square with different colleges jutting out from each side and the Bodleian Library just behind the Rad Cam. And, just to satisfy our thirst, we watched as young men and women ran through the square in caps and gowns, because we had turned up at that beautiful time of year, graduation!
The 38 colleges of the university of Oxford are all relatively close together, and it didn't take a long time to see all the beautiful buildings. We had plenty of time to double back around and go back to the things that interested us the most. We wound our way around narrow streets, and past walls packed with bicycles- the only place I have seen more bicycles is Amsterdam. We walked along college meadows, and meandered into the Botanic Gardens.
And there we found the Oxford we were looking for...