On May 24, 2018 we visited Cambridge. Cambridge University was closed off to visitors and tourists because of examination week, however, we were able to walk around the outside of some of the buildings. We also went punting through Cambridge University with Varsity Tours. The punter explained the history of Cambridge University, the different buildings, and pointed different things out that made Cambridge unique.
Before visiting Cambridge, I did not know that Cambridge University was a collection of different colleges. I found it interesting that for being such a well-known university and for being one of the world’s oldest universities that this was not clear. There are thirty-one colleges included in Cambridge University. On the punting tour, we saw only ten colleges.
Before we went punting, we did some shopping and sight-seeing. We passed the Cambridge Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs and got crepes. Then we had a discussion over which is better, savory or sweet crepes. Dr. Hicks was for savory crepes while Lauren and I were for sweet crepes.
Once we started the punting tour we were greeted by a lovely family of swans. Since it was a beautiful day, the River Cam was filled with other punting groups. Our punter, Tom, took us up and down the River Cam explaining the seven bridges, different buildings, and ten colleges we passed.
Tom explained to us how the blazer comes from St. John’s College, which is one of the largest colleges in Cambridge. This original blazer was red to represent the ivy growing up some of the college’s buildings. As St. John’s College expanded across the River Cam, the Bridge of Sighs was built. The Bridge of Sighs is the most famous bridge and only covered bridge in Cambridge. It is named after the Bridge of Sighs in Venice but has very few similarities.
(The Bridge of Sighs, the most famous bridge in Cambridge.)
Some of the sights on the punting tour were very random. For example, the largest tree in Cambridge. No one is quite sure how old this tree is but it definitely is a beautiful sight.
While on the punting tour, we could see parts of Trinity College. Trinity College houses the second largest cathedral in the world. We also could see the Wren Library.
(The view of the Wren Library from the River Cam.)
After the punting tour we got to visit the Wren Library. Every thing in the library was designed by Christopher Wren, even the bookshelves. It has busts of famous philosophers and important people lining the bookshelves. It also has a statue of Lord George Byron at the end of the library. The Wren Library holds many kinds of works and it’s collection increases every year. Some of its famous works include the original manuscript of Winnie the Pooh and Shakespeare’s first folio collected by two of the actors in his company.