Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Our Cambridge trip has probably been our favorite trip so far. It was our first experience on the national train system and it was a little overwhelming at first.
Once we figured the system out the train wasn't so bad. In fact, we had a whole train car to ourselves!

We were a little lost when we first arrived but we ended up cutting through the courtyard of a College that took our breath away but was only a preview of what we would see around Cambridge.

Cutting through got us to the Fitwilliam Museum which apparently has the greatest collection of art and artifacts outside of London. The architecture of the building itself wasn't too bad either.
It was then time for a quick lunch of Thia food from the market and a delicious chocolate twist. One interesting fact about this town is that none of the students are allowed to own cars. This has resulted in there being thousands of bikers around the town. It was crazy to see parking lots full of bikes. You had to watch your step when walking about the town that a bike didn't run you over.

Once again, our good old guide books, gave the advice that the best way to see Cambridge was to pay for a tour. This was great advice. We took a walking tour around the town which gave us great insight into Cambridge the town, the Colleges and the University. The school works a little differently then what we're used to. The best way to describe it is that there are 28 Colleges in Cambridge which could all function on their own. They house all the students and provide some teachers to the University. The University doesn't really have any students but provides teachers and brings together the Colleges. I know, it's confusing. Anyways, our tour started at a very historic laboratory. In this single building there have been huge discoveries which have changed the world as we know it. This is where the electron was discovered, where the first atom was split, where the first computer was assembled and where DNA was originally modeled. Can you believe so many monumental discoveries have been made in a single building?

When DNA was first discovered, they did not tell their professors or their fellow students. Instead they ran to the local pub, The Eagle, and announced that they had discovered the key to life. This pub was also popular in World War II. All the American pilots who were stationed here have left their mark by burning their names on the ceiling.

Our next stop was King's College.

Probably the most impressive building in town is King's College Chapel. It was built from 1446 to 1515 and has some great history to it. The ceiling weights 2000 tons and they were not sure it was even going to stay up until they took the scaffolding away. In WWII the stained glass windows were all removed to keep them safe. Inside, there is a wooden screen donated by Henry VIII that has symbols carved throughout it dedicating it to Anne Boleyn (for all those fans of "The Other Boleyn Girl").

For all those history buffs, this is the building where the American War of Independence began and where the final treaty was signed for its end.

The last stop of our tour took us to Trinity College. This was our favorite. The pictures really do not do it justice.

Some good English humor for you: As you walk through the impressive brick gateway there is a statue of Henry VIII who founded the college. In one hand he holds a gold orb and in the other hand...A table leg? That's right, he once held a gold scepter but it has become an ongoing joke that every time the school replaces the scepter the students will somehow replace it with a table leg.

Another historic aspect of Trinity College is the apple tree at the entrance. Sir Isaac Newton lived in the room just above this apple tree. The tree is a descendant from the original apple tree made famous by Newton.

This was the end of our tour but we still had a bit of daylight to explore the town. As you can tell, we love to take picture so here are a few more.

No comments: