I am starting to see why some people say to really get to know a place you need to spend some time there. Oxford I have decided is one of those places that you need to spend a lot of time in before you can really have got a grasp on it.
Its a beautiful city and on first glance you see the huge magnificent buildings, colleges and churches scatted through out town, you see some of the statues, the weird heads, the bodlien, the radford camera. But there is soo much to see on first first visit that its impossible to take it all in.
At first it seems all there is to see is obvious and in the city centre, but if you stay for a while you start to see that all the special bits are hiding tucked away where you could easily walk past. Take Turl st for instance little st, nice lane has a good coffee shop and is a nice short cut, today they were filming some movie on it and only a few people saw it. The best parts are the Isis river (aka the top of the Thames) and some of the others that flow into it there are so many paths and walks and meadows along it. But again how do you get onto those paths? are they nicely labeled? no most of the time they are down boring looking walkways with only the sign foot path to guide you.
Tucked away not to far from my place is a little place called Iffley, which has a wonderful old village feel to it. With small lanes with old stone walls, with trees loaming up above, vines and blackberries growing over theres walls making it look old and quaint. Follow it down and it leads to a church in made in Norman times then down again to the lock where its like going into another world. where weeping willows hang down into the stream, lazy ducks and geese swim by. Stop and watch the ornate canal boats go through the lock as the open and close each part. Then across the beautiful mathematical bridge (not entirely sure why its called that but it does look good). If you haven’t already worked it out this is my favourite walk that I do often.
But there is so many other things to see if only your looking out for them, in town its important to always look up as there are faces, gargoyles, motos, crests all over the buildings, sometimes in the weirdest places.