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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 4, Tuesday - Leiden to Oxford

Today was the great train-trek and I had been looking forward to it for some time. Here is a map of my day's journey:

My stomach was unfortunately still feeling the jetlag a bit when I woke up, but I thought I would be okay. The first train took me from Leiden back to Amsterdam. At 4:38 in the morning. When I took the train down to Leiden, the machine let me pay with a credit card, so I figured the same would be true going home. Well, the machines in Leiden don’t accept Visa. Some of them did accept coins, however, but I only had about 40 Euro cents in coinage and Carolin didn’t have enough for the ticket either. Of course, because it was so early, none of the stores were open to ask if they would trade my bills for coins. Carolin did have smaller bills so that I could break one of my bigger ones and I ended up asking a cleaning guy if he could trade me for coins. And that is how I got my ticket to Amsterdam: with the coins I traded the guy for and a few Carolin gave me. (Thanks Carolin!)

St. Pancras Station, London
Paddington Station, London
On the train to Amsterdam I started to feel sick to my stomach again. And, to sum things up: I spent the majority of my way to London focusing on not throwing up. (Sorry if you’re squeamish, but don’t worry, I didn’t. Thanks to everyone who was praying for me, it certainly helped!) The point is, about half-way through the saga, I decided that if I could cross Europe while feeling that horrible, I could make it through anything. The first train went from Amsterdam to Brussels, which was late because we had some sort of problem that I never understood which made us stop for a bit and be half an hour late. The next train was from Brussels to London, which means going through customs. I mostly tried to sleep on that train too, although it was less like sleeping, more like slipping in and out of a light coma. I didn’t have to worry about missing much of the scenery though, since during most the the journey we were enveloped in fog. Pretty, but foggy, and very hard to take pictures of. After that, I took the underground in London to another station where I boarded the final train of the day to Oxford. 

 This video is from the train to Oxford.

I have done a bit of touring about so far with my host, Dr. Rachel Quarrel, who has been wonderful, but since this post is already rather long I will save my descriptions for tomorrow when I will be touring several of the colleges. This is a beautiful city as well, and I can’t wait to post some pictures of it!


  1. I love all of the descriptions! I don't see the video. FYI Carolin spells her name without the "e". I know you knew that, but must still be the jetlag!

  2. I love the train video! The country side is so pretty. :)

  3. @Ann - Yes, sorry, I fixed it. Thanks :)

    @Cora - Yeah, it's gorgeous. You can't really see it, but in the second half of the video there is a sort of large white dot in the background that was a beautiful mansion.