Saturday, February 20, 2016


An inner quad of Christ College at Cambridge University.

Once again, KLS and I were out the door and on a train before the sun came to go to Cambridge for a day trip. Before arriving, Cambridge evoked images of a storied history, outstanding architecture, and a university steeped in tradition. It did not fail to deliver and is probably my favorite city in England. I love the college town feel.

KLS gleefully remembers her days as a young girl in Academia.

Another quad in Christ College.

Bikes parked along the River Cam walk.

Before we arrived, KLS had booked us a punting tour. When I found out how much they were, I balked. That reaction is exactly why KLS booked it in advance and it might have been the best thing we did in Cambridge. We had a guide who was finishing his studies up at the university that year. Along the way, he talked about the Cambridge-Oxford rivalry and why Cambridge is better no less than 45 times. I agree with our guide. While they both have the beautiful architecture, Cambridge seemed like a more tranquil spot for a nap, which is exactly what everyone student needs in a university. 

Houses across the River Cam.


KLS strolls through Jesus Green.

Back along the River Cam.

The back of a college.

For undergraduates, Cambridge is a three year university. When you apply, you apply to a single college. No matter what college you are accepted to, you pay the same tuition. Some colleges have larger individual endowments so they have nicer living facilities or have more prestige in certain areas. You take classes independent of what college you belong to - think of the the houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter world. Athletic competitions are also like Hogwarts where the inter-college competitions are more important than anything between universities, with the exception of when they compete against Oxford (in anything). 

Bridge of Sighs at St. John's College.

St. John's College.

A couple of my favorite moments of the day were when KLS showed a complete inability to understand the English accent. First, we were at a restaurant trying to find out if we could order food quickly before our punting tour. I'm still not quite sure what happened, but we ended up getting up to leave without any food and without a clear answer. Then, we went back to our punting tour. It had already left . . .  for the second time. Both times, we had arrived 'on time.' KLS had talked to the guy twice and had the time wrong.

The Wooden Bridge in Queens' College, also known as the Mathematical Bridge.

Queens' College dormitories.

King's College Chapel.

A willow tree hangs over the River Thames.

I think this is Queens' College again.

The Corpus Clock at Corpus Christi College was built in 2008 by Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking. On top of the clock sits the Chronophage, eater of time.

Bikes dominated the town.

A typical side street on a typical day.

Even though this entry is short, I can't recommend a visit to Cambridge enough. There is a ton of great stuff to see that we did not get to, including the Polar museum which has some great Antarctic exhibits. I told KLS she should go back to school there for a fifth degree so we can tryout living there.

The Grand Arcade market

A pub or care along the River Cam.

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