Saturday in Oxford

From an afternoon visit to Oxford a few days ago, I knew not to hop on the bus, not to head into the ugly city centre, but to take the left hand fork which leads straight into the old part of Oxford, bypassing the ugly city centre.

Half way along the road, a detour to excellent street food market where spoilt for choice.

I settled on souvlaki as I had already decided, but other stalls were very tempting.

It was then to The Handle Bar. A look in but did not stop. Far too noisy and the staff leave much to be desired but quirky and worth popping in.

A little further down St Michael’s Street from The Handle Bar, opposite Oxford Union, Society Café. I looked in a few days ago, but did not take a coffee as do not take cash. Today I tried credit card, but did not work. A friend tried her Chinese card, Surprisingly it worked. I think because of one of the card readers which bypasses the banks. I am still though not happy the refusal to accept cash and they need to think again. Use of cards profits the banks and tracks people.

I had a cappuccino which was excellent. Picked up Society and down the cellar found an earlier issue. It stated as a newspaper, now a magazine. Next edition due soon.

They also had latest edition of Standart. My friend paid with her Chinese credit card and I gave her the cash.

It was then to the Oxford Covered Market. Explored more than before but still only small part of this amazing market. A 1/3 pint of craft beer off one stall. Beer served in 1/3 and 2/3 pint glass. Not something I have encountered before.

I asked where the cheese stall was. Behind the fruit and vegetable stall. Had I not been told where to find I would never have found.

Excellent cheese stall. I bought Comte and another cheese Cione which I have not tried before.

Further exploration of Oxford, on entering Oxford University Church found they were about to begin rehearsal of Carmina Burana. Almost sat wn with the performers.

Just time yo get back to Oxford Covered Market for a coffee at Colombia Coffee Roaster. Earlier it was too busy. It was still busy. I do not think I have ever seen a coffee shop so busy. Sad to learn their coffee roaster no longer in use. They have a Probat at another location in Oxford but not nearby.

I asked of chocolate. They have bean-to-bar from Colombia, but not in stock and do not know when next consignment.

Heading to Magdalen Bridge passed by what on both sides of the street was claimed to be site of oldest coffee shop in Oxford. One now a greasy spoon cafe serving Italian coffee, the other The Grand Café a tea room.

What a pity not open as speciality coffee to honour the origins of the location.

We walked past Magdalen College to Magdalen Bridge. Disappointed not possible to walk along the River Cherwell. Can descend to the river for a boat, but not footpath beside the river.

Magdalen College is reputed to be one of the richest Oxford colleges, even containing within its walls it own deer park.

A detour maybe a short cut which was like walking along a country lane, maybe once was. Brings out into Broad Street, which is then easy for Oxford Station.

Passed under the Bridge of Sighs, which appears to be modelled on bridge of same name in Venice, hence the name.

Then back to Oxford Station. Very lucky as last time, arrive as train pulling in.

Again lucky at Reading in time for train to Gatwick. But no working wifi.

— to be continued

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