Day 42 08-06-2014 Sun Cambridge

Today was our Cambridge day as we wanted to see how it compares to Oxford.

IMG_7221No sooner had we arrived in the city centre after our Park and Ride, than the touts for the punt tours accosted and persuaded us to take the plunge with them. As before, there is a difference in the types of people that you deal with in the process. The tout is a well-presented and well-spoken person meeting our expectation of a typical Cambridge man (tall, male, slim). The next chap, who guided us through the streets to the punt, was short and from the sub-continent, but an energetic people manager and very personable. He handed us over to the younger and athletic “puntsman” who had been drilled in the tour commentary but was probably not a student at the Cambridge colleges. We were very pleased to have had this quintessential Cambridge experience floating along the “backs” on a sunny June day being followed by swans and ducks..

IMG_7232 IMG_7236 IMG_7238 IMG_7243 IMG_7249 IMG_7256 IMG_7261 IMG_7297 IMG_7300

After this, while trying to sneak into one of the closed colleges, we overheard a porter on the river side telling other tourists that if they hurried around to the front they could get in. We took off like a shot, with Joan streaking away (a first). We just got into the quadrangle of Trinity before the doors closed were closed behind us. We found about 1500 people there milling about. Almost immediately we noticed choristers on the top of towers on two sides of the quad. They began to sing like angels, in alternating parts accompanied by trumpeters on a tower on the other side of the quad. The performance lasted about 15 minutes. It was magical to be there in the quadrangle with so many people in hushed silence. We later found out it was an annual tradition “Singing from the Towers”, so we were very lucky to catch it.

IMG_7311 IMG_7312_cr

IMG_7314 IMG_7316 IMG_7317 IMG_7318 Trnity quad pano 2 Trnity quad panoWe then toured St John’s college which had a wonderful chapel and crossed its Bridge of Sighs (much more impressive than Oxford’s). The puntsman told us it got its name from the students who sighed crossing over the river to exam hall on one other side.

IMG_0736 IMG_0738 IMG_7344 IMG_7348 IMG_7349 IMG_7358 IMG_7361 IMG_7380 IMG_7383Our next stop was King’s College Chapel, which managed to blow our socks off (even after all our cathedral visits) with its walls of superb stained glass and amazing vaulted ceiling.

IMG_7398 IMG_7475 IMG_7497IMG_0755 IMG_0758 IMG_0764 IMG_0787 IMG_7233 IMG_7399 IMG_7401 IMG_7402 IMG_7403 IMG_7406IMG_7407 IMG_7411 IMG_7414 IMG_7415 IMG_7421 IMG_7422 IMG_7424 IMG_7441 IMG_7459 IMG_7489

Back in the city I climbed the tower of St Mary’s church before we visited the pleasant outlying village of Grantchester, for a quick half pint in a lovely old pub.

IMG_7490 IMG_7493 IMG_7500We had dinner in a neighbouring village pub and Joan got to drive back due to my two-pints consumption. She found driving a six-speed manual an interesting experience, but managed quite well. She even got to do it twice, because we had forgotten an umbrella at the pub.

Back in our home village we made the short stroll to the village church and saw some strange sayings on the wall of the ex-alms-house across the road from it.

IMG_7511 IMG_7512 IMG_7513 IMG_7514 IMG_7516 IMG_7518

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *