Just another weekend in London

20 Feb

Seven months has passed us by very quickly in the UK and it continues to do so with how busy we’ve been lately – we have a couple of weekends to catch everyone up on. It’s been travel as usual as we continue to strive to see and experience as much of this country and Europe as we can.

Last weekend we spent the day in the town of Oxford with Narelle and Nicole. The girls live in Slough, about a half hour train trip north-west of London and so we met them on the train on the way through and arrived in Oxford an hour later. We arrived to drizzly and cold weather (of course!), which didn’t let up the whole day. Oxford is famous for its world-leading university and because of this has always been one of our must-visit towns in the UK. The university takes up most of the town with different college buildings, faculties and departments scattered around. It would be hard to imagine Oxford without a uni as it really does take over most of the streets. The grand historic college buildings stand tall with students wandering around or sitting in cafes on their laptops, sipping hot coffee. We mainly just walked around to soak up the atmosphere, stopped for coffee and lunch, visited a couple of the colleges, the famous Blackwell’s bookshop (which is absolutely MASSIVE), and the Alice in Wonderland shop. Oxford is known to be the inspiration behind the creation of the Alice in Wonderland story and it’s easy to see why with the tiny doors, alleyways and beautiful gardens to get lost in.

One of our must-see things in Oxford was Christ Church, the university college where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed, like the Hogwarts dining hall. Being a Sunday and the late opening hours at this college, we unfortunately didn’t have time to go in and see the dining hall before we had to catch our train back to London. We also saw the bridge of sighs, which is named after its famous counterpart – the bridge of sighs in Venice. Oxford is again famous as the setting for the Inspector Morse series (this is for the Dads!) and we followed a walking tour group through a little alleyway which lead to a tavern where Inspector Morse himself drank in the series.

A couple of weekends before that and we went on a road trip through the English countryside to Stonehenge and Salisbury. The five of us – Jaime, Amy, Troy, Matt and I – hired a car for the day and first stopped off at Stonehenge. It was still as I remembered it. Of course the stones are the same, but the weather seemed to not have changed since I first visited Stonehenge in 2005 – it was freezing cold and windy. We spent as much time as we could stand in the icy wind, however we were keen to get back into the warmth of the car so we quickly made our way around the marked track. We then drove to the medieval city of Salisbury for a pub lunch, which has an impressive history dating back thousands and thousands of years. There, we also visited the very beautiful Salisbury Cathedral with an incredible spire, which we saw majestically in the sky from almost every point around the city. The English gothic architecture of the cathedral is very photographic and we spent quite some time wandering through the inside. The cathedral is also home to an original copy of the Magna Carta (the English charter) which was signed in June 1215. There is four original copies in total, one of which is housed in this cathedral and also at the British Library we visited a few weeks back.

 As I write this, we are chilling out for the day! After an incredibly busy week full with netball and Matt making the most of the gym, attending fabulous launch parties (nothing but Aston Martin of course, complete with never-ending glasses of French champagne while rubbing shoulders with the rich), and a Friday night catch up with friends, complete with Thai dinner and a cheap and nasty comedy night at Leicester Square (which ended up being incredibly good value with lots of laughs for six pounds!). We also had a beautiful dinner with our housemates last night and played 30 seconds – a South African game much like the game Panic. It was a whole heap of fun and we really feel we’ve made some close friends living in our house.

Till next time, love to all,

Mel and Matt xo

(View the photos here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=363185&id=645987066&l=1a7bf0e84b)

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One Response to “Just another weekend in London”

  1. Bev February 21, 2011 at 12:52 PM #

    Very hot over here today but lovely breeze from the river!!
    Glad you are having a good time. Local newspaper reporting Aussie Zoo in fin. trouble put off about 30 so you picked a good time to travel overseas. All good here Love Bev & Bill

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