25 February 2011

I feel smarter already - Cambridge Weekender

My friends Rach and Fi decided to take a last minute trip to Cambridge and asked if I wanted to join... I had always wanted to go so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. So, bright and early one Saturday morning we met up at Liverpool Street station and jumped on a train heading north.

We arrived at around 10:30am and wandered into town. First impressions - it seemed like a nice English town: stone buildings, plenty of pubs, and of course the huge number of colleges. Kings, the most famous, is home to the Kings College Chapel - a stunning building. I'm not going to even try to describe it - just look at the photos.

We had a quick catch up and a midday pint with one of Rachelle's friends, before spending the afternoon exploring the city. We wandered through some of the colleges, all with immaculate buildings and lawns. They have these guards dressed in old school outfits and hats, their only job is to keep the tourists off the grass!

We all really wanted to go punting - I was keen to hire a punt so I could have a go. But we ended up being talked into a group tour, with the lure of being able to punt myself, and going to chill out with the guys in one of the boats later. It is crazy how many of these guys there are in the city centre - they are literally everywhere! All trying to sell you a punting tour. I guess the commission is really good or something? Anyway, the tour was great, and our guide; awesome. We went through the... twelve I think... colleges, had a run in with an inexperienced Asian punter, and were almost taken out by an overhanging tree. Good times.

The sun came out just as the tour had finished, so we decided to go for a bit of a walk. It was really nice discovering the first signs of Spring. We then returned to the punting 'area' to meet up with the dude who made all the promises. He was a bit flakey, but the guy who had taken our tour showed up and offered to take us out for a bit. We gladly accepted! Both Fi and I had a go at punting... and it is definitely harder than it looks! But we had fun and didn't fall in.

We spent the next couple of hours trying to locate our accommodation for the evening - we were wayyy in the 'burbs! After dinner and a couple of drinks and dinner we made our way back into the city to dance the night away. FYI - the night bus system in Cambridge is not quite as good as the one in London. We ended up walking halfway home...

The next morning we jumped on a train back to London. It was a short visit but I am really glad we went. It is a beautiful little city with a great vibe!


  1. Well you know you'd never get my ass punting. I've been kayaking- I know what can happen. ;) But holy cow- the chapel pictures are amazing! They'd make gorgeous black/white photos to mat and hang down a long hallway.

  2. Just as well you didn't fall in - everyone who goes in that disgusting water gets sick.

    When the tourist season kicks in, in a month or two, the punt touts will end up getting really agro with eachother. It has a name locally: "the punt wars". They vandalise boats at night, etc, so it's pretty hardcore.

    By the way, don't believe any of the stories the guide told you - it's a pack of lies.

    James (the other flying Kiwi)


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