Sunday, 7 August 2016


 Last week (30th July) I went to Cambridge because I'd never been before and felt it was appropriate to do so. I got up bright and early and went from Euston to Cambridge direct. It was a really nice journey and I arrived at approximately 0915.

I walked from the station to the information centre and signed up to do the CitySightSeeing Hop On Hop Off tour. I found this was a great way to travel because you can just keep going round a circuit listening to the audio about the city.

My first thing was to go punting because I've never done it before and it is recommended to really see iconic sites of Cambridge -- and they are right! It is awesome and our punt driver was friendly and knowledgeable.

A Punt is a flat bottomed wooden boat that uses the same principals as a Gondola. It is propelled and steered by a driver who uses a long pole to touch the bottom of the river.

 So Cambridge is an ancient settlement. It got its name quite literally: bridge across the river Cam. It is an old university town but not the oldest! That goes to Oxford. Many of the students from Oxford were forced to re-start their lives else where after riots in Oxford between the locals and academics. I've heard two renditions, not sure which is correct:

1. A student killed a local person and to be fair, the locals were allowed to kill academics (I'm sure there is a lot more to the story then what I've outlined).

2. A student poured his beer on a pub landlord declaring his beer was not good enough thus causing a riot that went over many days.

Either way, Cambridge was re-born as an academic city.

 Many parts of Cambridge can be seen in the movie "Theory of Everything" which is a bio-pic of Stephen Hawking. It is such a stunning place to study! You'd be so spoiled if you were a student.

 This is called the Bridge of Sighs after the Venetian Bridge of Sighs. They have very little in common aside from being considered a covered bridge. This is a neo-gothic piece of architecture built in 1831. Apparently Queen Victoria loved this bridge.

Amusingly students have managed to suspend a car beneath it, not once but twice! I had to google it because it seems unfathomable. Imagine if they put such dedication into their studies -- surely they must be genius'.

I've included a few short videos of my punting experience. Sorry they're not the best quality -- it is with my phone after all.

Trinity College. Another prank students would play was to climb the spires and put road cones or Christmas hats on the tops. They were called the Night Climbers.
After punting, I was quite hungry. I found this cute little restaurant called Galleria Restaurant. They gave me a little table on the balcony that overlooked the river Cam and people punting past. I must say, it is the funniest thing to watch tourists attempt to drive the punt. I'm sure many end up in the river.

 And me, being a big foodie, had to have the tuna steak. It was marvelous and naturally required a dessert, which is the sticky toffee pudding.

After lunch I went to the Round Church. It's one of four that remain in the country. It's pretty unique to look at compared to the highly ornamented cathedrals Europe is famous for. I scanned the pamphlet about it because I figure in a couple years I'll forget about the history. I think I should scan things more often...

 As you can see, it's pretty basic inside. A round chamber with small offshoot rooms and stained glass windows.

 I briefly went through the Art & Craft Market. Lots of lovely things that I resisted buying. Look at me becoming less materialistic!

 And here is a final parting shot of Cambridge before I got the train back home.

It was a great place to visit for the day. I wouldn't mind seeing it again perhaps in Autumn when the Boston Ivy is different colours. My punt guide says that's the prettiest time to visit (to be fair, I think its stunning whenever you go). I'll update soon about my trip to Oxford.

1 Comment:

Stefanie McKnight said...

Sounds like you have been very busy travelling the country. Where to next?

1 Comment