Last weekend my friend and I took the one hour long train to Oxford, a famous city in England with 150,000 inhabitants. Most people know about its universities, rich history and stunning countryside.
The first thing we did after checking in at our hostel was take a hop-on hop-off bus through the magical, narrow streets. Most buildings are very old and charming. It was interesting to hear about all the things that happend here centuries ago and to know more about life back then and when the buildings were actually built. The city center feels like a romantic movie. Everywhere it feels like the scene in which the couple overcomes all the challenges and finally kisses.
In the evening we sat down on the stunning rooftop of the hostel and enjoyed a couple of vodka longdrinks. After having a lovely conversation with the Austrialian girl that worked at the reception, we ended up playing drinking games with people staying at our hostel. Naturally, we went out afterwards. The bar we decided on was small, very hot and had live music. The guy at the piano sang with passion and invited us to dance to his fast-paced sounds.
The morning after
The next morning we went to The Breakfast Club (hungover). This restaurant has been on my London-bucket-list since I first came here a little over 4 months ago. I ordered a hot chocolate and avocado toast and was not dissapointed. You can find a picture of the meal on my Instagram @LenasVision.
After that we wanted to do something chill, so we decided to rent a boat. We cruised up the river Thames and soon were surrounded by trees and lovely paths with a lot of wooden benches. The weather was nice, sunny but not too warm. I enjoyed the wind blowing through my hair and the calming sounds of the waves hitting our boat.
Bicester Village and Capitalism
Another interesting thing we did was to go to Bicester Village, a town created for designer shopping. It was my friends dream but it got me thinking about capitalism, the way we live our lives and sustainability. Why is a town like this necessary? Sure, it makes you feel very special to wander around in those artifical streets with polished houses and security guards at every corner. It was the first time for me really being inside one of those boutiques. In London you pass a lot of those shops but I never bothered to have a look inside. To be honest, the quality of these clothes does not feel or look like you would expect. In the end, they are nothing special.
In fact, the material of the clothes felt like the ones you can find in any other store and the prints were nothing special as well. The only difference is the buying experience. First of all they make the stuff look really nice. I noticed how precisely they place light and put every piece in a special place that furthermore highlights how unique it is. The stores themselves look amazing. They have modern decoration and everything seems to fit the theme. They sell you the idea of uniqueness. Designer clothes are made for you to feel special and to make huge amounts of profit off of people falling for that idea. Overall I think I understand why these brands can put those way too high price tags on regular stuff and still have millions of people craving it. They make you feel special.
On the one hand I imagined the city to be way bigger than it actually is. On the other hand I soon realized that size doesn’t matter because Oxford is one of the cuttest cities and has the loveliest people. If you are okay with staying at a hostel, I recommend the Central Backpackers. The staff is insanely friendly and the facilites are surprisingly clean and look very new. Also, the common areas and the rooftop are just perfect for meeting new people.
Oxford is a lovely city and definitly worth a visit. I would recommend you stay there for 2-4 days because you do not need more time to see everything unless you really want to do every single thing there is to experience. Otherwise it is not like London because you can get an overall impression of Oxford within a few days. You could combine your trip to Oxford with a visit to Bicester Village, the beautiful countryside or Stonehenge and this way get the most out of your trip.
Thank you for reading and never forget that life is an adventure.