Monday, September 02, 2013

Oxford Outing- Part 1

On Saturday we decided to have a day out and went to Oxford.  The last time we went  was almost exactly one year ago to the day, and as I have a free bus pass (one has now got to the age where one gets such things.) it seemed a good idea to leave the car behind, oblivating the necessity to not  only j driving there but also find parking space, even though there is a 'park-and-ride' scheme in operation in Oxford (we have used this on several occasions.) We got the bus from just outside the Academy in Saxon Street and arrived at Milton Keynes railway station and then had to wait before the Oxford bus came in. It arrived within about ten minutes and then we were off, going through Buckingham on the way, which we drive through on our way to Stowe Landscape Garden, one of our favourite National Trust properties. One advantage of being in a bus is that you sit up a good deal higher than you would if you were in a car, so you can see a good deal more of the countryside and in particular you see over hedges that grow alongside the roads you drive along. We went through Bicester (I went there to do induction for one of the care agencies I used to work for. A bit of a waste of time and effort if you ask me because I didn't get much work out of them as it turned out, but that's another story which I may or may not discuss in a future post.) We went past Bicester Village, the outlet shopping centre as well as Bicester Avenue, which we visited earlier in the year, which is fairly new.
We arrived in Oxford at around 10.00 and had need for the use of the toilets. Sorry to bring this up, but it seems to be a necessity of both of us. We knew that there were toilets in the bus station (where the bus came in at Oxford) but we soon discovered that there was some building work going on there and the toilets were out of operation. They had managed to put notices up telling you where the alternative toilets were and when we got there was a queue of people. On our way home on the bus we realised that there were toilets on the bus itself so that was one problem solved on the way home.
We have visited Oxford on several earlier occasions, a few times to Oxford Playhouse to see productions of Shakespeare plays produced by the all-male company, Propellor, in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Twelfth Night." We saw their version of "The Taming of The Shrew" a couple of years ago when Carol was teaching at Stantonbury Campus and we managed to get tickets through the school and went on a coach trip to see that show at the famous Old Vic theatre in London, which was a real treat. The last show of theirs we saw was "Henry V" a couple of years ago when they came to the Milton Keynes Theatre. So we know Oxford fairly well. This time we wanted to visit the Oxford Natural History Museum but weren't sure exactly where it was, so we spent quite some time wandering somewhat aimlessly around the streets in an attempt to locate it. We eventually managed to find it on a map but it was quite a walk out from the city centre and then discovered that it was CLOSED due to the roof being repaired which was something of a disappointment but there was an event going on outside the museum, I believe something to do with the friends of the museum or something, where there were stalls selling food and exhibits and managed to get pizza and something to drink because by now we were hungry and thirsty and it was quite a warm day and all that walking had taken it's toll.
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