Favorite thing: Cambridgeshire has some of earliest known Neolithic permanent settlements in the United Kingdom, although earliest records show that the county was first settled by the English at about the 6th century by bands of Engles, who forced their way up the Ouse and the Cam, and established themselves in the fen-district, where they became known as the Gyrwas, the now county of Cambridgeshire being distinguished as the land South Gyrwas. From the time of the Normans Cambridgeshire was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Grantbridgeshire" (or rather Grentebrigescire) (of the river Granta).
I took the earliest bus (7:30 am) from the Victoria coach station to Cambridge. Having spent the last two days walking around on the dirty streets of London, I longed for a relaxing day at this beautiful campus.
I started exploring this university town at the local market with a quick brunch in Starbucks. Then I bought a map at the tourist information centre and began to trace the footsteps of Xu Zhi Mou -- a Chinese poet who studied in Cambridge in the 1920s. A collection of Xu's poems (in Chinese) can be found in http://www.chinapoet.net/china/xuzhimo/index.html.
The best known of Xu's poems is his farewell to Cambridge. The beauty of the campus, the sadness of departure, and the many feelings he had towards this place is sung out in heart-felt melodies in this poem. I can only attempt to capture bits of this masterpiece in the photos that follow.
The so-called Mathematical Bridge is located beside Silver St, behind Queen's College. It used to span across the river without any bolts and nuts to support, totally relying on exact calculations based on Principle of Moments. Many years back whenever students got hangovers, the principle would be upset as they took the bridge down. Today it is firmly secured at its pivot.
Like any other student towns, Cambridge is equipped with a Market Square and shopping grounds. Within one of the shopping districts, a familiar keyboard tune sounded from a corner and agitated my ear drum. That tune is what partly makes me like about the show Titanic. That lovely tune is 'Nearer my God to thee - I Salonisti'. Amen!
That's almost about it. Unless you go Cambridge to get a degree, there are not really very much things to do. But it's undeniably a fine place to spend your weekend in.
The Backs, which are the meadows adjoining the River Cam, faces the rear of these colleges and is peppered with daffodils. It is undeniably a delightful place for strolling or picnicking.
Punting on the peaceful waters of River Cam can make a great day out but it can also mean a wet and hectic one. Standing on one of the bridges, I observed the punters maneuver their poles to get the punts across under the bridge. I was told that where bridges are not too tall, one might have to be careful not to stick his pole too deep into the riverbed or lift it so high that it hits the bridge bottom, in which case might cause an imbalance. Trinity Punts, located behind Trinity College, rents punts for 6 PDS/hr while Scudamore Punts charges about 9 PDS/hr. The latter has two branches in town, one just beside Silver St. and the other by the Magdalene Bridge.
Not too far away north is the Trinity, the largest of the colleges. Its Great Court is surrounded by a magnificent collection of Tudor architecture, including the popular Sir Christopher Wren's library. Next to Trinity is the St John's College. This campus spreads across River Cam and is connected by the Bridge of Sighs, a replica of Venice's. Bridge St. separates the college and the Round Church. This minute medieval church carries a cone-shaped roof; its name already tells how its body looks.
visit several of the colleges although they are subjected to restricted opening hours. Most colleges are closed to visitors for the Easter term (from mid-April to mid-June); all are closed from mid-April to mid-June for exams. Visitors tend to recognize the popular three to go to. They are the King's College, St John's College and Trinity College.
The majestic King's College is the most celebrated because of its chapel, which is a marvel. Its tall and gorgeous interior is decorated with intricate fan vaulting, and would certainly inspire your soul to leap to the rafters. At 5:30 p.m. Tues to Sat and at 3:30 p.m. on Sun this place will be filled with choral evensongs and pipe organ tunes.
Favorite thing: The Neo-Gothic New Court of St Johns College stands on the other side of the river Cam to the rest of the college. The clock tower is nowadays known as 'The Wedding Cake' due to its extravagant design.
Take a look at St. Johns College.
Founded in 1511 by the mother of King Henry VII (see the line of Royal patronage for many of these colleges, especially among the Tudors). The picture here is of First Court, the first part of the college to be built. Behind it towers the chapel of the college, a much later addition.
Favorite thing: One of the most famous aspects of Trinity College is its quadrangle. Made famous by the film 'Chariots Of Fire', a competition amongst students was to try to run the round the quadrangle while the clock strikes 12.
Something a lot of people miss initially when they look at the Great Gate (me included) is the fact that the statue of Henry VIII is holding a chair leg in his right hand! This used to be an sceptre, but was replaced long ago by mischievious students. Oh, what imps they were!
The information about this chair leg prank was told to us by the guide on our punt tour. I would recomend such a tour to anyone - if you get a good guide you can learn so much, and it's much more interesting than a guide book!
Take a look around Trinity College. Founded in 1546 by Henry VIII (of the 6 wives fame!). Henry granted great wealth to this college, giving it land and property that had belonged to the monasteries, which Henry had dissolved (abolished).
The picture here is of the Great Gate of Trinity College.
Favorite thing: Kings College Chapel was completed some 70 years after it began and is a testimony to the skills of the masons of the day. The valuting in the roof is lighter than that seen in any other comparable building in the country.
Favorite thing: This view of Kings College, taken from the fields behind the colleges and seperated from them by the river Cam, is one of Cambridges most famous views - and justifiably so. (This area behind the colleges is known as 'The Backs')
Favorite thing: It's hard to see from this picture, but the clock tower of New Court has no clock! This is because it lost in the race to complete building works against one of the other colleges! Strike me down for not remembering which one!! The clock in the tower of this other college apparently strikes the hour twice, once for itself and once for New Court!!
See the Colleges, with all of their associated buildings, chapels, quadrangles, bridges, gardens - you name it, these colleges have it all, along with a great history of famous scholars, teachers and patrons.
The most famous, and probably the most beautiful, is Kings College, shown below in a variety of views.
Kings College was founded in 1441 by King Henry VI and was intended to be a vast college to cater for former pupils of Eton school, also founded by Henry. Unfortunately, little more than the Chapel was built before Henry was deposed, but the sheer splendour of the Chapel gives an idea of how his dream may have looked.
This is a view of the entrance gate to the college as seen from Kings Parade.
We enjoyed a one-night stay here. The staff is young, pleasant and very efficient, and that includes...more
The rack rates are a bit steep, but the location of this hotel is unbeatable (assuming you need to...more
A10 A142 Roundabout, Witchford Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 3NN, United Kingdom
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo