Trip report – Cambridge, Uk
Phew. We got back on Thursday and I’m just now starting to feel the jet-lag subside. My partner David and I flew to the UK for a couple of software conferences in Cambridge, then spent a few days in London, followed by Paris! I was looking forward to returning to Cambridge, we visited there three years ago and this time I was going to have a few more days to explore the city.
The first day it rained, but I was undeterred (and had remembered to pack a couple of umbrellas); I headed out for some wandering and shooting in the moody weather.
I stopped for lunch at the Rainbow Cafe, which is located right across from Kings College. Finding vegetarian food isn’t a huge challenge in the UK, most every pub has something (usually a veggie risotto for some reason), but I always try and track down restaurants which are entirely veggie. The food was delicious; I warmed up with soup and some hot tea, and ventured back out.
Bit of personal history – long before I ventured into the world of photography, my obsession was Anthropology. I’m still a huge history and evolution geek. When I was nine, a friend of my parents gave me a fossil, and blew my mind by telling me it was a million years old. I decided then and there to be an archaeologist when I grew up.
Which clearly didn’t happen. Yet I still beeline for the nearest museum full of rocks, bones, and artifacts. One of the many reasons I love the Uk, it’s full of museums. Most of them are free to enter, plus they allow photography. Occasionally they are full of artifacts plundered collected from cultures all across the globe. The photos above were shot at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, where some of Darwin’s specimens and notes from the Beagle voyage were on display. That’s his signature in the book in the top photo. I couldn’t resist. Charles Darwin’s autograph.
The next day it stopped raining, I walked even further than the day before.
The center of Cabridge is where most of the famous colleges are, Kings, Queens, Trinity, etc, along with a number of churches. The surrounding city is a bit less dramatic, neighborhoods with row houses, pubs, and shops. Don’t be misled by this quaint photo essay, there’s plenty of modern architecture in Cambridge, I just couldn’t be bothered to record any of it. We all know what a mall looks like.
Magdalene College, with a lovely garden in front, located right on the river Cam. The boats are punts – copied from Venice. Going ‘punting on the river Cam’ is one of those ‘must do’ tourist experiences.
Gorgeous little shops…
The traditional colleges are stunning, each one has tremendous history and reputation.
Autumn was in full swing.
Our third day there, David took a break from conferencing, and we went punting with Scuramore’s. Our guide was both hilarious and informative. If you travel to Cambridge, I recommend punting with a guide as you get a view of the colleges along the river unavailable otherwise – some are open for tours, but not all.
This bridge is a copy of the ‘Bridge of Sighs‘, also from Venice. Some day I’ll have to go there and see the original. There’s another copy in Oxford, which was used in one of the Harry Potter films.
The ‘Mathematical Bridge’, designed William Etheridge, and built by James Essex in 1749. It’s been taken apart and put back together twice by students.
Hope you enjoyed Cambridge! We sure did. I wish we’d had a bit more time (I didn’t make it to all the museums!), but we left for London the next day.
Where we stayed – De Vere University Arms Hotel, which was a bit run down, but clean and the breakfast was good. It’s also very convenient to the city center, overlooks a park, and has free (but slow) wireless in the rooms.
Drinks – Several pubs. Don’t miss a good pub when you go to Cambridge. Many of them serve food, often of good quality.
We also bought several postcards to send home featuring images shot by photographer Derek Langley. His site is worth taking a look at, he does fantastic black and white, sepia tone, and Infra-red photography of Cambridge, London, and surrounding areas.