Saturday, June 19, 2010

Don't tell Oxford on me, but...

While in England, we took a day to tour Cambridge. The first thing on my to-do list was to nostalgically indulge in what had been one of my favorite parts of my semester in Oxford: pub grub for lunch. Steak and ale pie, mushy peas and a pint of cider--delish! Cambridge was, I suppose unsurprisingly, fairly similar to Oxford (fun fact: when you apply to university in England, you must choose one or the other to apply to--no conflicts of loyalty/interest here!). The buildings were old, stone and beautiful, the streets were full of slightly hippie-looking students, there were chic coffeeshops costing much more than the cheap neighboring pubs and posters plastered literally everywhere advertising various events, bars and student shows. The colleges that compose Cambridge even often shared names with those that make up Oxford. However, there was a definite difference in the feel. Cambridge was a bit smaller, a bit tidier, a bit cutsier, with more chain and mainstream shops--definitely more directed at tourists. Consequently, it couldn't (at least in my mind) compete with the culture and history that Oxford is steeped in, nor its narrow, winding roads and dark hovels of pubs with low, crooked ceilings and centuries-old intellectual memorabilia.

But then again, Oxford had already won before I even saw Cambridge. Anyway, on to pictures!

A picturesque row of houses in Tom's hometown of Saffron Walden that we passed on the way to the bus stop (and double-decker ride onwards to Cambridge. Fun fact: if you're British, my name rhymes with 'double-decker')
One thing Cambridge had on Oxford was its bikes. With its newer, more even streets, Cambridge is much more conducive to biking, and the proof is EVERYWHERE. The bike racks around the train station rivaled those in Amsterdam. Here was a cool "billboard" I found for a bike repair service:
And here is King's College, the Christchurch College of Cambridge (for all you Oxfordians...for everyone else, that means it's the rich/big deal/pretty building college).
I found the antique cash register with WiFi sign to be too ironic to pass up as a photo op:
The back of King's College, from across the Cam river and a meadow:
Seeing the students chilling out by the river made me miss St. Marys. And Oxford. Basically, my previous life as a undergraduate.
Cute story: Tom's first-ever job was as a river punter (slash one of the oddly-costumed people that recruit tourists for rides--it's a testament to how young he was that they still made a costume in his size at that age). Here are some lazy punters:

1 comment:

  1. Love the colorful row homes, but the "typewriter" looks more like a cash register to me....?