Friday, June 27, 2008

A visit to Cambridge - first part

We had to be in there for 9.30a.m. - the start of Paul's examination marking meeting. We made it, via the M6 and A14 by 9.15a.m. and as Paul, briefcase in hand, headed into the Gonville Hotel I set off down Regent Street to begin my day out in Cambridge. I'd only got as far as Mandela House, the Cambridge Council Offices, and was thinking that was apt as I'd just heard on the car radio that it was his 90th birthday, when I was stopped and asked the way to Prince George Street. It is a standing joke with family and friends that no matter where we go, I am always the one people seem to stop and ask for directions, anyway, as we were on Regent Street I suspect it couldn't have been far away but I'm afraid I couldn't help. We had visited Cambridge quite a few times when we lived on that side of the country but I only had in my head the layout of the centre around the shops and colleges. I was there as a visitor, a tourist perhaps so I wanted to see the famous bicycles.....

These ones were chained to the railings of St Mary the Great church, I popped back in here later in the day to sit in the cool, calm and rest my tired feet. I also wanted to see punts on the river Cam.....

and students in their gowns. The little group below were marching along to have their photos taken outside Kings College.

I wanted to see bridges like the mathematical bridge at Queen's College....

and to walk along the backs and photograph King's College Chapel.

The early newness of the day was fast disappearing; people were now out and about and the place was beginning to buzz so I found my self wandering up quiet back streets always aware of cycles hurtling around corners to my next destination.

The combination of books and coffee has too strong a draw and I'm afraid I couldn't resist, it was time for a break, a coffee, croissant and newspaper were calling. A reflective sit down where I could plan the next part of my day.

I wanted to re-visit the Fitzwilliam Museum but first I wanted to visit one of the colleges. Many of them were closed to visitors but I did manage to find two, Gonville and Caius and Trinity, that I could wander around but I think I'll put those in another post because there is so much to say about them.

My last visit was to the Fitzwilliam Museum. I went straight to look at the porcelain and china displays and then up to the top floor to see the wonderful paintings. Since my last visit a new courtyard with cafe and shop has been added. I sat a while gazing at the works of art and resting my tired legs before setting off back to the Gonville Hotel; I was nearly at my destination when - you've guessed - a young man stopped me to ask where the bus station was - this time I could help. We set off for our next destination of Peterborough to visit a friend in hospital but again that is another story for another post.


  1. Oh Rosie I do miss Cambridge, I would give the earth to go and spend a morning in Heffers, having lunch in Barouche, walking along the Backs. I love the huge horse chestnut tree by the side of Kings, one fo the biggest trees I have ever seen.
    I am so glad you had a lovely day. I was looking at the book list, I have hardly read any of those, but am into historical mysteries, Suzannah Gregory is one of my favourites and she uses Cambridge as her setting. Oh btw, try reading the Da Vinci code, much, much better that that crappy film. Hope everything is ok with you, you will read that the Bruptcy happened, but its not as bad as we thought it would be.
    Rosie x

  2. Oh, Rosie I bet you do miss Cambridge! It's a wonderful place. I loved being there and the day just flew by. Maybe I'll try to read the Da Vinci Code - I do like a good mystery. Sorry to hear about the Bruptcy - in some ways you must be relieved to have it all sorted now. Take care.

  3. Such lovely places. Is it just me but all the pics I see on blogs of various places in England the streets etc...are so clean and no clutter! Just lovely.