Another short night. Even though I fall asleep quite quick, I also woke up quite quick. This does make the day longer and gives me more time to explore the city, but it also does start to wear me out a little…
Anyway, the day has been great again nonetheless! (I know, must be getting boring to read ;)) In the morning we bought a return ticket from Paddington Station to Oxford, which was only an hour away. The weather wasn`t bad, no rain, just a little chilly and clouded. When we arrived at Oxford, I waited in front of the train doors for them to open. This however did not seem to happen. After a careful analysis I found out the doors were not automatic yet, they had to be opened by hand. But how to do this when there is no handle on the inside of the door….well apparently you had to push down the window, stick your hand through the opening and lower the handle located on the outside of the door…right….this is the 21st century right?
At first glance Oxford didn`t look like much. I was expecting a quite intimidating city with massive structures and a historical architecture. I only saw a worn out gas station, a neglected train station and not that many people in general. After a few blocks this scenery changed into a shopping centre where we had a drink at Starbucks (gonna miss those tall cappuccinos when I get back) and realised how few students walked the streets of Oxford. The Oxford with the prestige University should be crowded with students all the time right. Where were they? We continued our walk in the direction of the Oxford Church and University and when we got there, the building was indeed absolutely striking! The castle-like structure was surrounded by a green landscape and just like I had remembered from the many pictures I had seen on the internet. The place had security and we were not allowed to walk on the premises, but did manage to find some of the dorms by ignoring the `not open for visitation` sign. On our way, we did encounter a few students, but still way less than I had expected. After we were done taking pictures I bought my very own `Oxford University` t-shirt and headed back to the station. We had planned to see Highgate Cemetery a few days ago, but never came round to actually going. Now we had some spare time on our hands and decided to tube our way to Highgate.
The High Gate Tube Station is not the closest subway station to the cemetery. Aside from the fact that we did walk in the wrong direction and searched for almost an hour before we found it, Archway Station is way closer to the graveyard. Closer and easier, since we had to walk up a steep hill, than down that steep hill and consequently walk up another hill again, to finally find the cemetery on the bottom of that hill….AARGHHH!! (Archway is on the same level and only two blocks away from it. Oh well). Our happiness of finally arriving there was shattered immediately when the keeper of the gate key informed us that he was just about to close the gates and we`d have to come back another time! Quite disappointed we did manage to see a large part of it along the fences and made some Blair Witch-like photographs. The village or district of Highgate is really fascinating as well. From the look of the houses you can derive that the people who live there are quite well off. Also a lot of history has been preserved, so many different styles of structures can be found right next to each other. Then there are the hills and the many churches, which make you feel like you are not in London anymore, even though it is not that far away from it. The place was definitely worth seeing even though our plan didn`t entirely work out.
We had some Mac Donald’s food in the evening and a drink at Momo`s where we also had been the night before and this time we did smoke the apple flavoured water pipe. Quite nice! Our colleagues had managed to arrange some theatre tickets after all, so we had a great night at the Majesty Theatre. I have been there before when I was like 15 years old, also to see The Phantom of the Opera and not many things changed in the meantime. The music is still amazing and the actors have such great voices! Really enjoyed it!
Right now, I`m at the hostel feeling sick to my stomach… I hope a good night of sleep will make it better. I really have to be fit for tomorrow, since we`ll be at the World Travel Market all day. I`m looking forward to it and definitely don`t want to spend a day in a hostel in a crappy bed. So fingers crossed!