I traveled with my college dad, Robin, to visit Cambridge (where he lives) and get an up-close-and-personal view of the town and colleges! His family was truly great. They put me up for the night, fed me lots and dropped us off into town for the sightseeing. First we went punting, which is a must-do in Cambridge, as the river runs along the back of the prettiest colleges (King's, Queen's, Trinity, Clare, St. John's) and gives a great view of Cambridge's architecture. We decided to punt ourselves rather than get chauffeured, which is usually quite good in Oxford... but little did we realize that the wind had decided to go haywire and we were sent careening about in our tiny little boat with just the two of us for a good two hours! It was fun nonetheless. When we finally made it to shore, we visited many, many colleges. I entered: Pembroke, Corpus Christi, Christ's, Jesus, Queen's, King's, St. John's, Sydney & Sussex, Peterhouse (oldest one in all of Oxbridge.. 1220) and saw the outsides of most of the others. I didn't get to go into Trinity College, the largest of the colleges, because it was undergoing a fair bit of maintenance and students had exams.
The town of Cambridge is much different than Oxford, in that it's mostly just a 'town' that weaves its way about the colleges. Oxford, though, is a city which seems to thrive both with and without the colleges in that it has its own way of life alongside the student way of life. In Cambridge, though, the city doesn't seem to possess this second quality of being a different part of the colleges. It is really quite lovely, though. I enjoyed my visit immensely (despite the 3.5hr bus ride one way...)
Oh, and Robin's parents showed me the hospital complex where they work, which is amazing. They're building HUGE new complexes to house the molecular biology units, etc! There is also a brain repair unit at Cambridge... dream come true! My personal tutor at Oxford sent me a link of a man with whom I might be interested in working with for my phD, and I saw this dwelling at Cambridge on our way into the town. Very cool!
Here are the obligatory pictures:
|Punting in front of the best view of Cambridge: King's Chapel|
|Quaint Cambridge street|
|St. John's College|
|King's Chapel organ & wonderful ceiling|
|King's Chapel shields (also a royal one, I believe)|
|King's Parade, a made street in Cambridge|