Tuesday, June 24th was set as a rest day. After the long flight and a quick introduction to the Thames and the town of Henley it was time for a rest day. Most of the team took this opportunity to take the train into London and explore that great city. I'm hoping I can get either Coach MacDonald or one of the rowers to write about their adventures because I did not follow them to London. A few of the coaches needed stay back to work on the boats a little more. After we (the coaches that stayed back) were done making adjustments we headed to Oxford to explore that city. I will caution you here that this post is non-related to the bulk of the team, just a few of us coaches.
We decided to head to oxford via public transportation via the train. It was incredibly easy getting a ticket from Henley to Oxford round trip and an easy trip on the trains both ways. Going to Oxford we had to make a switch and we ended up taking a 'slower' train that made more stops but the ride was not bad through the country side. We were able to look out the windows at the many farms, and small clusters of dwellings along the way. If I had to compare the countryside to something State side it would be Vermont, where there are plenty of rolling hills of fields. But where you'd find scattered farmhouses in Vermont you'd find small rows of 5-10 of very tightly packed houses here in England. After traveling through miles of farms we arrive in the city of Oxford, which appears out of nowhere. It seemed like there was no suburbs, just farms straight into a city.
Again making a comparison to something States side, the city of Oxford felt like the city of Cambridge, MA. It was a bustling city with lots of people centered around a University. Obviously, Oxford centered around Oxford University and Harvard University at the center of Cambridge. But to make a comparison of these two cities /schools would be silly. Harvard was established in the year 1636, Oxford university takes roots in higher education almost 600 years before that in 1096! To put things in perspective there was a medieval castle built in the city around the same time. Since inception there have been many impressive buildings built for the various schools of the Univeristy. Here are a few sightings from around the city.
After a lengthy walk around the city we traveled back to Henley via train. This time we were able to locate the express train to Reading and then a couple switches to get us to Henley much quicker. It was a good long day which made me very tired and not wanting to make a post yesterday. And as it is fairly late tonight I will have to report on Wednesday a day late as well.