Cambridge

Welcome to the scholarly enchanting city of Cambridge!


So, after following up my first day at The University town, Cambridge, I finally have written down my accounts of Cambridge city. Right, briefly going over my conference and my lodging, so I lodged at Rectory Farm about 15 minutes walk away from the conference venue at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) (see map). 

Map 1

My lodging, as I mentioned in my previous post was impeccable. Lovely homely ambience, calm surroundings, soothing greenery, fresh country air... Just perfect!


Rectory Farm
Oh the morning hue... love the greenery
Oh and the joyous farm animals :)

Rectory Farm's black sheep
The conference indeed went really well and I had a great time catching up with my PhD pals from other universities like University of Strathclyde, and making new ones all the way from Russia and Estonia. All was good, all except the morning of the first day. Umm, do you remember when I said you only need one pair of formal shoes (heels) in my post on what to carry for conferences, yeah, strike that out...

PLEASE CARRY A PAIR OF COMFORTABLE PUMS OR FORMAL SHOES!

While walking down the highway, I tumbled and fell on my ass and nearly sprained my ankle while my shoes went flying to two different directions... Pretty sure I made some folks' day who were driving past me as I laughed and pulled myself together!

Anyway, that's that with the conference bit (won't really get into the nitty-gritty of my conference), continuing to my Cambridge city expidition, so, after the end of my 2nd day at the conference, we were all invited to a guided tour of the city and dinner at one of the most prestigious colleges of Cambridge, Trinity College Hall. I decided to take a detour and walk the whole way from IfM to King's College (see map 2).

Map 2
While walking, after a long 30 minutes trek via the highway all the way from IfM to the town centre, I came across the bridge that overlooked the River Cam. The view, as you can see from the pictures, was spectacular. I am really glad to have come to this city afterall. By the river banks are parked a few boats that are available for punting, that would give you a rather interesting view of the city in general. I left that for my next (future) trip as I could only do so much in the given time before the guided tour.

River Cam
Following the bridge from north to the south side, going down the Magdelene Street to Bridge Street, there are numbers of gift shops and restaurants lined up by the main road that one could stop by and bring home some souvenirs, including jolly cambridge university logos on mugs, T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, varieties of homemade sweets, and even clever postcards. There is also the famous "Round Church" right next to the road that takes us to all the famous colleges and Universities of Cambridge that there is to know.

Round Church
Obviosuly for me, the main attractions were the colleges and universities themselves... And all the little facts attached with each of these well known colleges... We (the conference delegates) were taken for a guided tour of the most celebrated part of Cambridge to explore and learn the rich history behind it all... Such interesting facts... I could listen to it alllllllll day. Like, did you know that only the "Fellows" of the colleges are allowed to promanade on the grass inside the college campus as a compensation for the traditions during the olden days when only the "master" (or the head of the college) was allowed to marry and everyone else had to pledge for celibacy! Some would say "better than nothing!" Well... Not sure I really agree...

Anyway, to be honest, this place felt like a wonderland to me. Sooooo extremely beautiful with such extravagant sculptures on the college building walls. Every institute is like a masterpiece, and indeed they are.

Sculptures around the University
My favourite was of course the most coveted, King's College situated right next to the King's College Chapel, the Great St. Mary's Church and the University of Cambridge.

Another fun fact, the Great St. Mary's Church consists of two sets of pianos, one for the common folks and another for the college folks!

King's college
This place is like a hub of knowledge and everything prestigious in my field of studies and the field of Science that I know of! There is also this crazy blickering clock called the Corpus Clock with a giant mythical chronophagic (time eating) monster over the pendulum swinging clock, put up just recently in 2008 unveiled by none other than my hero, Stephen Hawking, that always catches everyone's fascination...

The time eater!

Then there are also famous pubs like the Eagles. Eagle pub is the MOST famous pub of Cambridge, not for being the oldest (cause it's not) but because it is there where the revolutionary announcement of discovery of DNA and genetics was done! What else do you need as an incentive to go enjoy a house beer and some good old fish and chips in there?

Plaque put up by James Watson


Finally, one of the most coveted and famous college named after the notoriously infamous king Henry VIII, the only college to boast on higest number (32) of nobel prizes ever recieved by its members in the world, produce highest number of Prime Ministers (not only UK but also India), and also have the honour to be the Alma mater to the father of modern Science, Sir Isaac Newton himself, Trinity College

Trinity College
What must it feel like to be a part of such a historic institute? I can only wonder... Sigh!

Isaac Newton's apple tree (grafted from actual Newton tree)
Well, anyway, the day and tour ended with an amazing "royal" (in other words "Grande"!) dinner at Trinity College Hall which is also the students banquete hall. The table was immaculate and food was just pure pleasure... Huff! I will always cherish this day as the most perfect day with the most perfect ending for 2014!


Easily one of the best experiences in UK! Hope you enjoy it on your trip as much as I did... Will definitely return for more...