After a couple days of work in Bedford, I had a free day. Instead of sticking around town, I decided to do a day trip to Cambridge, England.
Adventures in Cambridge
After a couple days of work in Bedford, I had a free day. Instead of sticking around town, I decided to do a day trip to Cambridge.
I walked to the central bus station and caught the #5 bus to Cambridge. For only 9.80 British pounds, I was able to get a round-trip ticket on a modern coach bus with A/C and free Wi-Fi.
After an hour, the bus came to a stop alongside a large park, and the driver announced, “End of the Line”. I got out and looked around and had no idea where I was. People went different ways, but I followed the couple that looked the most like tourists and hoped they were going to the tourist area.
Soon I came to a bus station (why didn’t my bus stop at the actual bus station?) and noticed a map outside. I got my bearings and headed toward the tourist area.
After passing through a farmer’s market, I found the tourist information office and tried to find a map. They weren’t very helpful as they were more interested in talking me into paying for a tour and selling me an expensive map.
I decided to head toward King’s College to see its famous chapel (on the right).
While taking pictures, I hear Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone. I looked around to see
where it was coming from. I see a garbage can with a guitar sticking out and realize
there is a guy with a guitar, inside the garbage can, singing Like a Rolling Stone.
You don’t see that every day.
The River Cam
I walked down the street past Queens College and across the River Cam, filled with loads of people punting on the river.
Punting the River Cam in Cambridge is like riding a gondola in Venice. Apparently, it’s the thing to do.
I walked down the other side of the river.
Eventually, I came up to the back side of King’s College and had an even better view
of its famous chapel.
It was quiet and peaceful and away from the tourists, so I decided to have a seat and
enjoy the view for a while.
Eventually, it was time to see the rest of the colleges of Cambridge. I crossed back over the River Cam, and as I was crossing the bridge, Rossini’s William Tell Overture filled the air around me. Behind me, I hear the whump of an air cannon and spin around in time to see flames shooting into the air, in sync with the music.
I hung around to enjoy the display until Rossini was done with his overture.
I traveled through the streets of Cambridge taking pictures of the different colleges. From an architectural standpoint, I thought Cambridge is kind of a cross between the buildings of York and the colleges of Oxford.
After taking pictures of Trinity College, I decided to take a seat on a low, vacant wall in front of Trinity and eat my sandwich. Within minutes of sitting, a half dozen other people decide that this is a good idea and sit on other parts of the wall next to me.
A few minutes later my peaceful lunch is again interrupted as a huge tour group stops right in front of me, of all places.
I see the tour guide point over my shoulder and say, “See that large bay window? That was Isaac Newton’s office. Notice the apple tree outside his window.”
No way! One of those apples could have fallen on my head and I would have never realized the significance of where I was sitting, had I not been sitting in that exact place at that exact time.
Apparently, that apple tree is not THE apple tree, but another planted in the same place. I didn’t care. It was still cool to realize where I was.
I wandered more through town, taking pictures of the colleges.
I came to a church with a sign that said “Tower Open”. I was excited to climb the tower and get a bird’s eye view of the city. I approached the door. A guy walked out, looked at me, and grabbed the sign and closed the door. I guess the tower is no longer open. The day wore on.
The tourist crowds started thinning out, which made it an even more peaceful and enjoyable day in Cambridge. I could go back to my room and spend the evening at the hotel, or spend the evening in peaceful Cambridge.
Bad at Math
I check my watch. It is 6:10 pm. I check the bus schedule and am happy I have almost three hours that I can spend enjoying Cambridge until the last bus leaves at 1900.
All of a sudden my heart races. 1900 hours is not 9:00 PM. I don’t have 3 hours to catch the last bus. I have less than 50 minutes to catch the LAST bus! I don’t even remember exactly where the bus stop is. In a panic, I start to run in the general direction where I think the bus is.
Fortunately, on the way back I did recognize some of the sights and knew I was heading in the right direction.
I finally get to the park and walk across to the far side where the bus stop was. I get to the bus stop and look at the sign. Wait. This doesn’t say bus 5. I look down the road and see a number of other bus stops. I walk to the next one. Not number 5. I start walking faster to the next one. Not number 5. The next one. Finally number 5. And I made it with 10 minutes to spare!
The bus arrives. I grab my seat, and I finally relax for my hour ride home.