Trip Start Apr 30, 2006
Trip End May 14, 2006

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cambridge - Punting and Relaxing on the Cam

Click here to view my pictures of Cambridge

I arrive at high noon and after checking into my lovely B&B (just opened in October) I walk along the River Cam into the centre of Cambridge.

My knowledge on Cambridge is limited. I know it is famous for the big rowing boat race each year against Oxford on the Thames but other than that this trip is an open slate. My excitement level rises as I wander along the Cam and I encounter several rowers stroking their oars in the water while the boat glides over the calm of the river.

I finally reach the centre of Cambridge and the Anchor pub, located next to the punt rental location, where I grab a late lunch and a pint of Greens IPA. At my sunny, dockside table I have an excellent view of the punts as they go by. The lunch hour excitement turns out to be a bunch of college students that have decided to dare each other to jump off the bridge and into the river. And being crazy college students they do it and jump off the bridge into the River Cam. Luckily no punts were coming under the bridge at this time.

After lunch I visit the Fitzwilliam museum, a miniature version of the British Museum that was disappointing as the Egyptian section was closed. From there walked along the Backs. So named as it is at the back of the various famous colleges that form part of Cambridge University.

Unfortunately, the colleges were closed though due to exams as they did not want to disturb the students study time. I imagine it must be hard to study here in Cambridge as all the colleges, along with their magnificent buildings and views of the river Cam, have gorgeous greens and private gardens (open to staff and students).

My relaxing evening started out with beers back at the Anchor pub. This is a great spot as the banks of the Cam are lined with people sitting on the bridge or in the park green with their 'take-away' beers either from the nearby pubs or the nearest corner grocery. There had to be at least a couple hundred people hanging out enjoying a socialable with friends and the like.

Punting on the Cam

My evening entertainment was a play put on by students from the Cambridge University Dramatic Arts program. They put on a play called 'Our Country's Good' which was about British soldiers and prisoners in early the penal colony of Australia attempted to put on a theatre play in spite of the many challenges from the prison environment and a number of soldiers that were against letting criminals have any form of special treatment. In spite of all the troubles and challenges, the criminals learned their lines and the show went on. Overall it was a jolly good and well performed show.

I head out early the next day for London but I can't help notice the continuous stream of bikes heading into the college area within the city centre. There were so many bikes here - mostly of the grandmother variety - I wonder how the owner would be able to find theirs from the long lines of parked bikes in front of each college.

Overall my trip, while short was well worth the experience. All I wish is that I had the opportunity to study in such a historic and beautiful town like Cambridge. After all, Isaac Newton enjoyed it - even if an apple fell on his head here!
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