British Isles Cruise – intro part 1

I have been waiting for a few years and finally found a cruise to the British Isles.

We started by flying from Oakland to Las Vegas where we connected with Virgin Atlantic’s nonstop flight to London-Gatwick airport. We pre-booked a shared transfer so we were met by a driver who took us (along with another couple) to our hotel Ibis London Euston St. Pancras for our two-night stay.  Since it is located only a half block from an underground station, it was a good place to stay. The room was a bit small–typical for European hotels–but it was clean and included free internet. It was fine for a rather budget hotel.

Zizzi Italian Restaurant

Zizzi Italian Restaurant

After a short nap and catching up on emails, we walked just under a mile to Zizzi Italian Restaurant.

We are not adventurous when it comes to dining so it was an easy choice since we ate at a Zizzi restaurant on our previous visit to London and knew the food would be good.

Since we had been to London before and already took the hop-on, hop-off tour, the next morning we took a taxi to Victoria Coach Station to take the Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick Castle tour which we had pre-booked. Victoria Station is rather crowded and the gates surround a courtyard area where the buses arrive and depart.

Our tour guide explained that although Oxford is a wonderful town, their bathrooms are not. So we stopped at a popular place for a bathroom break and optional souvenir shopping.

As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.

Oxford is a collegiate university, consisting of the central University and colleges. The central University is composed of academic departments and research centres, administrative departments, libraries and museums. The 38 colleges are self-governing and financially independent institutions, which are related to the central University in a federal system. There are also six permanent private halls, which were founded by different Christian denominations and which still retain their Christian character.

 

 

From there, it was on to a pleasant drive through the Cotswolds, famous for hundreds of honey-colour limestone villages in a beautiful rural setting.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of our British Isles vacation.

Copyright © Margaret Owen, Cruise Pro