Last weekend, we had a day for which our program did not have any events scheduled, so we decided to take a day trip to Cambridge, England. Cambridge sits right outside of London and is known as the home of one of the top universities in the entire world. My flat mates and I were bouncing back and forth between visiting Oxford or Cambridge, but we settled on Cambridge after some advising from my local coworkers. I am a little ashamed of this decision to not go to Oxford, England and admitting to it on an Ole Miss blog, but it is what it is. I hope that I can be forgiven.
Cambridge is around a one-hour train ride (with stops) from London. I did not know much about Cambridge, but I was very pleasantly surprised with what I found. For anyone who might ever travel to London, I would strongly advise making this quick day trip if possible. It was refreshing to get out of the city as much as I do love and enjoy London. We were fortunate enough to have picture-perfect weather for our trip. With so little time, we did a lot of walking around and seeing the beautiful architecture that the city has to offer. What I did not know, was that Cambridge is actually comprised of 31 independent colleges that run all throughout the city of Cambridge. One of the greatest things to do in Cambridge is to just walk around and take note of the history that goes back as long as time can tell. We went on a Saturday, so we were lucky enough to get to walk through markets throughout the city. Dormitories for students were built like palaces, the lawns looked like the fairways at the Masters Golf Tournament – Cambridge is simply just a breathtaking place. It feels at times as if you are taking a step back in time as you meander through streets and buildings that have been trodden by Nobel Prize Winners, global leaders, groundbreaking scientists, and award-winning authors.
One of the greatest things that Cambridge has to offer aside from the magnificent architecture is a river that runs right through the middle of the city called The River Cam. The River is named this because “cam” in an ancient language means to meander slowly, which very accurately describes this calm river that blends so well with the city. You can take these boat tours up and down the river for a fair price and learn about the history of the town and college. The style of boating is called “punting” in which whoever is maneuvering the boat (in our case a tour guide) uses a long rod to push off of the bottom of the river and push the boat forward. The weather was fantastic, and we got to see the university from a unique angle and also learn about the University’s rich history. In addition, we paid a nominal fee to gain access to the Great St. Mary’s Church Cathedral tower. The Cathedral is very central to the city and has a phenomenal view in every direction. We made our way back to the train station to head home around 8:00 p.m. after a full day in the picturesque town of Cambridge. When you are in a city as large as London for extended periods of time, it can be taxing at times. Although I adore London and would not want to spend the summer anywhere else, Cambridge was a phenomenal way to get out and take a deep breath away from the constant energy that London requires from you.