Posted by: annmucc | March 4, 2009

Weekend in Cambridge: The Couchsurfing Experience

I see that Michael has already blogged about our weekend in Cambridge! That like never happens! So it means I need to move on and finish blogging about it (I have a number of other things on my mind to blog about, but I just don’t have the time!).

First off…if you don’t know what couchsurfing is, check out the website or wikipedia. As a brief intro (if you’re too lazy to look into it), couchsurfing allows you to stay at someone else’s place when visiting a new place, or meet up with locals in some way, while at the same time being willing to do the same to visitors coming to your place.

This was my first experience with couchsurfing. I had tried to do it for my first night in London, and though I found a couch, I was a bit skeptical on the person, so I skipped it. However, Michael had already hosted and surfed before, so he wasn’t new to the concept. My first try, and it was a success to me at least! We got to see Cambridge from the eyes of people living there, and not just get to know the place, but also get to know the people, or one couple in particular…Alex and Lou who were our hosts. They are both PhD students in their writing up phases, with both of them also working, so we got some interesting discussions.

First off we met them on Saturday night when we went to a folk concert together at CB2. Michael was the one to suggest a folk concert, but what we got was not exactly what we had in mind :P…i.e….a room full of ’40+’ers who also knew the songs particularly of the last guys, and took the opportunity to sing along, and even introduce harmonies to accompany the singer, Benny Gallagher! WOW! I was impressed, and a bit puzzled as well ๐Ÿ˜› But it was good fun anyways ๐Ÿ™‚

Then, Sunday morning saw us leaving the B&B and making our way over to their place…a lovely house on a quiet street…would be nice to know I may have that kind of a place once I finish my studies…who knows? My own house? WOW! After relaxing a bit, we made our way to town, to Cafe Rouge for brunch. Cool place, with good food :). There, a friend of Lou’s also joined us at the end, before Michael, Alex and I went on to the Fitzwilliam Museum, while Lou and her friend caught up on their lives.

The guy on the bus who had suggested the round church had talked about this museum, and it is mentioned in a number of lists of places to go, so I was looking forward to it. We mainly saw the art galleries on the top floor (with a short peek at the Classical collections downstairs). I am not really an art person, but I was impressed anyways to see paintings by Van Gogh, Pissarro, Monet, Degas, and many others. A thing that struck me however was the presence of carpets ย around the galleries…not really sure of their purpose, especially them being miss-matching, and clearly have seen better days. If anyone knows I would be glad to be enlightened!

From there we returned back to their house, where Lou introduced us to Second Life (I have tried to figure it out now on my own, but it is still highly confusing, especially having a very slow internet connection which keeps on disconnecting!). I was also introduced to the delights of Tesco Deals ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope to be able to make use of them sometime (when I get enough points to get vouchers that is :P). In the meantime, Alex was busy preparing stew for dinner for us, and Line, a Danish girl now studying in Cambridge, who had stayed at their place while she found a place to live.

Line arrived, and off down we went to dinner…mmm…lovely lamb stew with dumplings. Have never had something like it I think, but it is definitely something to try out! It wasn’t just food of course…wine and conversations did not lack :). Good fun to sit down with people over a meal and talk…it makes the meeting that much more special. The food was polished off the plates, and soon (too soon) it was time for Line to return home. After washing up the plates (yes…I was in charge of that decision! I hate washing up after the plates have been standing there dirty…much rather clean up while the plates are still warm and the food has not stuck to it well and good…so when I was given the option I decided for everyone that we do the washing then…sorry Michael!) it was definitely time for bed!

Since Lou and Alex both work, the next morning we had to be up at 7am…that was fine by me (though we ended up waking up an hour earlier as Michael looked at his watch which was set to Prague time! It was only after we had changed and finished packing that I realised! Oh well). Well, at the said time, Lou and Alex woke up, and we had breakfast – my first time having porridge…I must say it is not as bad as some people make it out to be! Lou soon had to rush out of the door, while we finished washing up, and then it was time for Alex to leave as well. We said our goodbyes at the door, and while Alex went off to work, ย Michael and I went to The Black Cat Cafe on the main street which Alex had suggested. Tthere we took a table and waited for the time to pass by drinking coffee/hot chocolate and playing Carcassone (yeps…they didn’t say anything to us playing!). Soon (too soon) however it was time for us to keep on walking on our way to the coach stop…Time for Michael to leave, and me to leave soon after.

Great weekend, and especially thanks to Alex and Lou for making it that much more enjoyable ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks guys!



  1. […] see Ann will be for Easter in Malta If you are interested in reading more check out her first and second post from the […]

  2. sounds like a fun trip you had in Cambridge. And you are lucky with the hosts you got. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I guess MCA brought his Carcassonne set to Cambridge then. Gosh, such an addict (pot calling the kettle black)!

  3. Hehe…yeps he did ๐Ÿ™‚ (Maybe cos he wanted to show me the gift I sent him for his birthday and hadn’t seen as yet?) But glad he did ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. […] since my return from Pisa in the beginning of June)…Lou and I were going to meet up (Remember Lou and Alex?). The plan was that we go to the Photographer’s Gallery together…so off I went! […]

  5. […] – Meeting Up Remember Lou and Alex? We had couchsurfed their place in Cambridge, then they had couchsurfed at Michael’s in Prague, and then us girls met up one Friday […]

  6. […] weekend in Cambridge…and more cycling! Over a year ago Michael and I had met up in Cambridge and had spent one night couchsurfing there with Lou and Alex. We have remained in contact with them […]

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