While we were staying in London we took a day trip to Cambridge. Only a short train ride outside of London, Cambridge was a quaint, beautiful university town with gorgeous buildings lining the street and the River Cam. Below are some of our photos from the day, walking around town and punting on the river. We loved Cambridge, it was a wonderful day trip from busy London.
Cambridge University is made up of multiple colleges. Historically, students stayed in the college that corresponded to their course of studies and lived, dined and took classes in that specific college. Nowadays, students can choose their college (to a degree) and while they still live and dine there, they take courses across many colleges. Some of the colleges charged money to tour or view their grounds (which I thought was absolutely absurd). We found a few that were free for visitors and explored all of the ivy-covered corners.
I matched the flowers that day :)
In the afternoon we went on a punt on the river, with our local punter and tour guide, Pip. We barraded Pip with questions and he patiently answered and gave us more information than we remember. He probably thought we were the craziest Americans he had ever met. We rode along behind of all of the college buildings, sometimes referred to as “the Backs,” because you see the backsides of the colleges. Pip explained which famous scholars lived in the different colleges. He explained the history and beginnings of the Cambridge, Oxford rivalry as we passed Darwin’s house and the college where Stephen Hawking lived, among many others.
As we understand it, and as we experienced, punting is when someone with a guides a boat up and down the waterways by pushing off the bottom of the river with a long stick. While the punters make the job look easy, our group had a much more difficult time keeping the boat moving in the right direction than they did when given the chance. On our attempts, we ended up going backwards, in a wall, against another boat, you know, safe.