What a day! We packed our hats and said goodbye to the lovely Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket, and came all the way to Cambridge – a grand total of about 50kms, but a world away from the bucolic splendour of Horsey Central!
No horses here – the traffic is constant, and I've never seen so many bicycles in my entire life! Oh, but it is just so pretty!
We're staying at the Royal Cambridge Hotel, which is in the middle of the city, and only a brisk walk away from the great colleges of Cambridge University. We seemed to snaffle the last available room in the entire city – there are some conferences happening at the moment, and everywhere is booked out, which is why we are perched like eagles high above the Ring Road.
Our room is the one at the end - on the top floor - the one with the window wide open, to let in the ambience, ha ha!
What an amazing city! 2009 is Cambridge University's 800th anniversary year – that sort of continuity is hard to imagine. In Australia we get excited by anything that predates 1900, so we were almost hysterical over the medieval bits of the city.
A two-hour walking tour included a stickybeak inside Kings College Chapel. I've been a fan of choral music since my uni days, and the choir of Kings College has always been my favourite, so I was a bit overwhelmed – teary, almost – to actually be there under the massive fan-vaulted ceiling.
Thelma took fourteen million photos of everything in sight (and especially photos of us looking scholarly at Corpus Christi College, Kings College, Trinity College etc etc etc), and then we went punting on the River Cam and took fourteen million more, while our lovely punt 'chauffeur', Giles, pointed out all sorts of interesting sights.
One of the first ports of call on our walking tour had been The Eagle – a lovely old pub which had been the 'local' for some of the greatest scientific minds of our time, from the nearby Cavendish Laboratory – so we went there for dinner. Also dining at The Eagle were a Kiwi mother and son. Hailing from Wellington, Reed is a graduate student at Trinity College, and he was having a farewell dinner with his mum when we persuaded him to wear the Hat of the Day.