Avenues and Alleyways.
Cambridge is old. There is evidence of human settlement here dating back 3,500 years. Iron Age Britons lived here, then the Romans, and then the Saxons-who named it 'Grantabrycge' basically-Grantabridge or 'bridge over the river Granta'. In time, 'Granta' became 'Cam' and eventually 'Cambridge'. The Vikings and the Normans took an interest in the town, presumably because of it's location and access to trading routes and the river and each group left their mark. Things really took off in the 12th Century when the town got it's charter and so trading increased, the town got a court and the beginnings of the educational establishment we're formed. The famous Kings College Chapel was completed in the reign of King Henry VIII.
There are some sights that seem to be rather common when you escape the hustle of the shopping centre and head off down a side street. Cambridge hates cars-why wouldn't itit predates them and so you really do not drive here.you cycle.
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Bikes are everywhere.sometimes ridden by sensible folk and other times by people who should be lying down in a darkened room until they can stand upnever mind in charge of a vehicle on a public road! That is all part of the fun though.cycle dodging! I have had my foot run over by a bike that went over a crossing without stopping-you just learn to get injured or get eyes in the back of your head.
They do add a nice atmosphere though!
So we explored 'the backs' which is basically where the River Cam literally backs onto the colleges of Magdalene, St Johns, Trinity, Clare, King's and Queens'. Unless you have access to the colleges or have hired a punt-you cannot access them, but you can peek through the trees and enjoy the view.
The next thing that is a common sight in Cambridge-punters! Young attractive types who want to take you for a ride in a punt (for a fee of course) they are wonderfully charming-one guy even sang us a song! Tourists love them and it is one of those 'must-do' things so there are always hundreds of tourists with cameras taking pictures of each other trying to get in and out of these funny looking boats. Its all really rather charming and English-in an Italian sort of way!
Food and drink-big deal in Cambridge, or seems to be. I found at least two amazing wine-type shops, full of weird and wonderful looking bottles, with just about the right amount of dust to justify the price:)Where else would you use a Jeroboam and a Methusalah as a doorstop????? Fantastic stuff. I have also found a Cambridge cheese shop.this will require more investigation and a separate blog post I think (yes I can write a whole blog about cheese)
Ahhhhh, relaxing in the many green spaces with a good book, a chum or just simply falling asleep on a lazy afternoon. The city has lots of green spaces, perfect to relax in and people watch-which is one of my favourite pastimes. I like to imagine these two are discussing something of great literary importance, or maybe they have just made a groundbreaking scientific discovery. Reading through lists of famous Cambridge alumni made me realise what a significant place I live in. Gravity, Evolution, Natural Selection,DNA, the atom, the computer, the jet engineall discovered by Cambridge graduates and famous names from Marlowe to 'Ali G' studied here (that is an interesting range of individuals!)
You know I love my flowers-and I do like a nice hanging basket. The buildings are so interesting in the range of eras that they represent..I would love to have a snoop around in some of the attics that's for sure.
If you peek over a wall or through a gate or fence, there are lots of secret gardens hiding in plain sight. One one side of the road is a shopping centre, on the other is an old churchyard, full of history and stories. I found wandering around with no particular itinerary or agenda and looking at things so relaxing-most people are rushing from one shop to the next and missing it all. It is like layers of history all placed on top of the next one. Turn a corner and you are walking down a row of 18th century cottages and then BAM, you are walking under the end of a Tudor manor house masquerading as a sweet shop. I love the utter randomness of it all. I feel very lucky to live here and very glad I took some time out to enjoy it all.
We ended the day at the Orchard tea gardens, just outside the city. You can have a cream tea whilst sitting in a deckchair under an apple tree and just nod off, or read a book. Or both. Marvellous!
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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 04/13/2016