As promised in the last post, this post will be about the weekend in Cambridge.
Last weekend, Michael came over to the UK for a visit (YIPPEEE!). Since he cannot stay at my residence, and since he was flying in to Stansted, we thought it would make more sense to go to Cambridge for a weekend, and after all get to see this place. So that’s what we did…we booked the tickets, found a B&B for 2 nights, found a couch-surfing couple for the next…and off we went!
The first two nights were spent at Somerset House B&B. It was clean, had a friendly owner, Kim, who happily accomodated our change in dates as well, and we got a good breakfast every morning. If there was to be a downside, it would be that it is not as central as could be, though we could easily walk into the city centre in around 20 minutes. Also, you could hear a bit through the walls if people were being noisy, so it was very good that the people there were very quite.
What did we get up to? Well…a lot of walking…Cambridge is a gorgeous place, at least to me! When I saw it I thought that I would probably have been much happier studying in such an environment…though London does have its plus points as well, particularly due to it being the capital city, so you have things like major libraries and institutions close by. But the greenness, river, relaxed environment, with everyone riding around on a bike certainly has its appeal to me!
Now about the city sights. First off we stopped at the Round Church. I was told about this by a friendly guy on the bus from London to Cambridge (who was also on the return bus with me…that helped pass the time quite easily ;)). In this church the main thing is an exhibition around it about the history of Cambridge. I am always interested in the history of a place I am visiting…in fact the City of Prague museum and the Museum of London are amongst the museums which most grabbed my interest. There is also a 20-minute video showing, which Michael and I got roped into watching…it was interesting, but a bit dragging, and the visual could be much better O:).
From there we walked on to see a number of colleges. These colleges represent the central point of university life in Cambridge. I had never really understood how the college system worked in Oxford and Cambridge…had it explained to me and now I somewhat get it (I think :-/). Every student, besides being of course assigned to a department, is also assigned to a college, which is more concerned with the social aspect of university life. I guess that would definitely help in feeling more at home in an environment, and have more support, rather than in an environment like London. It was cool to go into some of these colleges to see how they look like, and see their well-kept grounds.
What else with we do? Well…we walked around the area a lot, from the backsides, where the river runs, and off to the market, as well as just generally getting in the atmosphere. Some good pub meals were also in order…first night I had a steak and ale pie, while Michael had a burger at the Burleigh Arms. The second night we tried to return, but it was full with people watching a game…not a place to sit! All other pubs we came across were much more expensive (The Burleigh Arms offered great food, good-sized portions, and at decent prices), so we ended up having a doner kebab :)
Uhhh! and how could I have nearly forgotten? On Saturday evening, before going off in search of food, we went to the Evensong at Kings College Chapel. WOW! What a gorgeous place…and with a queue to get into the service as well! Great service I must say. It was my first Anglican service, but the music in the place was excellent, and the chapel (less chapel more church I would say in size) is gorgeous. A downside maybe woudl be that it was quite evident that most of the people there were there for the experience (just as we were), rather than regular attendees. It felt in a way sometimes like we were observers looking onto a show. Nevertheless, definitely a not-to-miss experience if you’re in Cambridge!
The second part of the Cambridge weekend then involved my first experience of couchsurfing. But that deserves another post, as this is getting quite long, and I need my beauty sleep :)
I promise that the second part will come up soon!