Being that Wednesday marked the end of my school week and the completion of presentation number two of three for the term, I felt like a little excursion out of London was necessary. Not that I don’t love London, mind you, but since I’m in England, I think that getting the most out of my time here is essential. Sunday, I booked round trip coach tickets through National Express and got fun fare ticket pricing for £8 return!
To be honest, Oxford was higher on my list, but the fact that I found tickets that were so inexpensive — well, Cambridge seemed like a worthy excursion at that price! I visited the town’s website before going so I could get a feel for what there is to see, but aside from shopping, my main sightseeing was geared towards seeing the colleges (there are 31 of them). I think most people are aware that Cambridge has been home to some bright minds — Watson & Crick and their discovery of DNA, Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity… certainly a pool of intelligence and I was excited to see the colleges at the very least. It’s rather interesting because each college is an independent institution. When I typically think of universities, I imagine going to one main ‘campus’ of sorts and then sightseeing from there, but in this case, the town is Cambridge’s campus, with colleges sprawled all over. Sadly, a number of the colleges were closed when I was there so I only got to see the exteriors, but even from the outside the buildings were pretty intense.
I wish I had more pictures of everything housed in these colleges — the libraries, the mathematical bridge, etc. but a number were closed and most of them (that have sights to see) charge admission fees. I probably should have just paid the fee to get the most out of it, but the rain was a bit of a deterrent.
An interesting discovery — I felt like I was back in Davis for a moment when I got to Cambridge: bikes everywhere! When you walk down the streets, there are bikes tied to every fence along the way and cyclists along the streets. Perhaps it’s just because London is not the most cyclist-friendly of places that seeing so many bikes caught me off guard, but it was seriously intense:
A part of me was actually a bit nervous about making the trip – I was afraid that after being there and seeing the colleges, I would feel a tinge of regret for coming to LSE over looking at Cambridge or Oxford. Let me just say – the trip did one important thing for me: It reinforced the fact that London was the best decision for me! Not that Cambridge wasn’t nice. The town was cute — kind of antiquated and preserved with pretty good shopping for a town of its size. Perhaps the rain put a bit of a damper on the day, but despite all of its history and architecture, etc., etc., I spent most of the day shopping, poking around old book shops (came home with loads of new books)! In fact, one of the best parts of my day was being on the coach as it entered London at night. Seeing London all lit up as we drove along the Thames reminded me just how amazing London is. I might be a bit biased, but I came up with a brilliant theory during my trip (perhaps from being surrounded by Grade A brainwaves):
London + LSE > Small town living + Cambridge
Also, for anyone that’s going to Cambridge, two pieces of advice: 1) Don’t go when it’s raining! I think that the rain put as serious damper on the day; had it been sunny I may have really taken a liking to the place, and 2) Go on a Saturday. I went on a Thursday and saw a number of signs about markets that take place on Saturdays – different craft markets, farmers markets, etc.
Love from wonderful London,