OXFORD

In Austria, it is common to go on vacation with your classmates after graduating from high school. We call it Maturareise – the trip you go on after passing the Matura, the series of tests that determine whether you have reached maturity and should be allowed to go to university. This vacation is a way of celebrating the end of school. While most people spend a week sunbathing on the Mediterranean coast and celebrating with copious amounts of alcohol, my school friends and I decided to buy an Interrail One-Country ticket for the United Kingdom. In a matter of two weeks, we visited close to ten cities, among them London, Stratford-upon-Avon, York, and Edinburgh.

Out of all the places we saw in England, Oxford was probably my favorite. It must have been the flair, that of a student city, even if it was a touristy one.

Naturally, we went to see the university. And I have to say, if I ever actually had a chance of getting in, I would love to study at the University of Oxford. The old buildings are enchanting, pompous, and pristine, all at once.

We rented a pedalo for an hour, which was one of my favorite things to do on this journey. We – as well as all the other people who made their way around the canal – had no idea how to properly steer the boat, which only made it that much more fun! We pedaled all the way down to river Thames before turning and making our way back into town.