On my second day in England, I returned to Oxford and took a boat tour of the Thames River (the waterway also known in that city as the Isis).
I walked down to the tour place a bit early and bought my ticket, and then walked around until the departure time. Here’s the river, seen from Folly Bridge, right near the tour boat launch:
I walked down near the river and saw a bunch of geese feasting on bread someone had thrown there:
I walked south from there, away from the river, and in front of a house I saw some birds I did not recognize. I found out later that these are magpies:
I noticed a path that went off the road alongside some athletic fields, and saw that the sign indicated that it was a public path that went through to the river. So I walked through there and came out on the Thames Path. Looking up river there were several University boathouses:
Here’s the view downriver from the same spot:
I followed the path upriver, back toward the tour place. On the way, I saw several houseboats that were moored by the side:
Some of which had a lot of plants on them:
Apparently there are a lot of river sections where the public can moor for a few days at a time.
Here’s a view of a park across the river:
I got back to the boat launch and soon was able to get on board the small boat. There were about 8 other passengers, and fortunately there was a canopy over most of the boat, as it was quite sunny.
First the boat headed downriver. Here’s a building near Folly Bridge:
We passed the boathouses I had seen from the shore, and a few more. These are the oldest ones, apparently:
We turned around at Iffley Lock and then headed upriver for the major portion of the tour.
This included going through a lock, where the boat pilot got out and operated the controls to close the doors and fill the lock.
As the water filled it, there was a duck floating there with us:
And here is the lock open for us to continue upriver:
At one point, a person on the shore was taking our picture. I tried to get a photo of him while he was doing so, but I wasn’t quick enough:
Some other views on the sides of the river:
The north end of the tour was at Port Meadow, which is common land in Oxford (and also a floodplain). There were a whole lot of birds there:
Also horses grazing and drinking:
That swan kept dunking its head when I wanted to take its picture.
I did get a closeup of this heron, though:
Here’s a building I thought was neat looking as we were headed back downriver:
An obelisk along the bank:
I think this is a train bridge:
After the tour ended, I walked back toward the train station, happening to pass Oxford Castle on the way:
And this is a canal that flows through the city:
I took the train back to Didcot, where I collected my luggage from my friend’s place, and then boarded another train to head to London, where I would spend the next 5 days.