Cambridge, home of the famous university, the cozy mystery stories of TV and books, and the choir of King’s College!
Visiting on Easter Monday, the beginning of Easter school term holidays in Britain, meant the students were all absent, but the tourists were out in full force. This worked to our advantage at lunchtime – a long lineup of people outside a Sicilian pizza parlour led us to a place that was fast, tasty and delicious!
We walked in a giant circle all around Cambridge University, which led us over a bridge crossing the River Cam – yes, the Cam Bridge. Get it?! By the way, I don’t know why they don’t just say Cam River, or Ouse River, but they don’t. File it under “Eccentric but Charming.”
And another Eccentric, but Charming note of the day: security guards at Cambridge University wear blazers with bowler hats.
Anyways, back to the River Cam. How many movies have you seen of romantic young couples out in a punt, enjoying each other’s company, lazily making their way along the river, maybe capsizing? I’m here to tell you it’s all a big Hollywood fake. Punting on the Cam is a commercial enterprise, with tourists lounging (or shivering, today) under blankets while being pushed along by modern-day northern gondoliers. On land, punting associates sell tickets and wave flyers at anyone who looks like a tourist. Just like the sellers of tickets to the Vatican, or to carriage rides in Central Park, or just name your attraction.
We did find the famous shot of King’s College from “The Backs” which is, appropriately, in back of it. Fences, security guards, gates and even a moat keeps the university a private preserve for its students.
A wonderful day, but we didn’t see it all, and we need to go back.