Joined April 2018 Message
  • Day90

    Saturday - On the way home

    July 7, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Out of the room by 10 am. Bus to Heathrow is at 3:20 pm so filled in time by a final walk around Cambridge and a morning tea at Bill's Cafe.
    Dragged our bags down to the bus depot about 1.5km. Bus trip to Heathrow was quick as England is playing in world cup and no cars on road.
    Boarded plane on time, but sat on tarmac for an hour waiting for tower clearance. Just what you need before a 13 hour flight!
    Flight was not the best, very noisy air conditioning, blowing too cold, minor turbulance almost all the way.
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  • Day89

    Friday - Last Day

    July 6, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Walked the other way down the Cam after breakfast. The colleges are all having student open days and we were able to get into Queens College to have a look around. Queens is a big college with the Cam running through it. It looks like it would be a good college to be at. The library was open to visitors and we were able to get into the old books area. The display was amazing.
    We continued on up the Cam a bit further and this time we found a pub with decent coffee and a shady spot to while away an our or so.
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  • Day88

    Thursday - More Cambridge

    July 5, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Started the day at the Round Church across the road from the college. The church is a rare and old example of a church in the round (hence its name!). Inside was an informative display showing Cambridge's relevance to western history over the last 2k years.
    After we went for a pleasant walk along the Cam to an area we had not seen where Lou and Damian managed to find a pub serving very bad coffee.
    Back in town, lunch was at Bill's cafe which was pretty good. This was followed by a bit of retail therapy.
    In the evening we attended Evensong at St John's Chapel. We were treated to a magnificent choral performance by the combined choirs of St John's and Kings Colleges. Quite a treat for us and the over capacity crowd that attended.
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  • Day87

    Wednesday - Fitzwilliams

    July 4, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    After breakfast we headed off up the road to visit the Fitzwiliam Museum. On the way we noticed a couple of colleges open to the public so we called into Gonville and Cauis and Pembroke. Notable alumni of Pembroke include Clive James, Peter Cook, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor. So it would have been a fun time there!
    After stopping for a bite we arrived at the Fitzwilliam Museum. The museum houses the universities arts and antiquities collection. It was originally a bequest from the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam in the early 19th c. Well worth a couple of hours, particularly the french impressionist paintings.
    In the evening we visited the botanical gardens where there was a summer concert being held. The brass band ensemble playing was ok but could not hold our interest for too long so we left and found a Thai for tea.
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  • Day86

    Tuesday - Bus trip to Ely

    July 3, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Another bright and sunny day arrived. What ever happened to the cold and damp England we all know so well!!
    Today we set off on a day trip to see the Ely Cathedral. The local bus took about an hour. We noticed along the way how everything had browned off with the heat. What was green is now brown.
    At the cathedral we went on a tour included in the admission price. The guide was a bit of a bore but we did get an overview of sorts. Lunch in the Almondry Cafe followed and was very pleasant. In the arvo we went back to the cathedral where Damian did a tower climb tour while we visited the stained glass museum.
    Back at Cambridge, dinner was a M&S microwave special, actually quite good for the price.
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  • Day85

    Monday - A Cambridge Walk

    July 2, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    We started our first day with breakfast at the Buttery Dining room. Quite a good spread of hot and cold choices.
    Our exploration of Cambridge BEGAN with a guided tour. We managed to get into a small group of only 7 and our guide Manuel was able to give us a good introduction into the history of the University.
    The highlight was a visit to Kings College Chapel. The fan vaulting and large stained glass windows are quite awe inspiring.
    After the walk we took our M&S lunch down to the edge of the Cam and sat on the grass watching the punters on the river.
    Later we had dinner at the Eagle Pub. This was the hangout of Watson and Crick, the discoverers of DNA.
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  • Day84

    Sunday - St Johns College Cambridge

    July 1, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Left the cottage about 10:30 to drive into Cambridge. As we were planning to pick Damian up at the station at 2 pm we had a few hours to fill in so headed to Grantchester. On the way we saw a sign for a car boot sale so called in for a look. The sale was on a farm property which also had a farm shop as well as a little group of other shops. The car boot sale was just household junk. The farmshop was a bit more interesting and we grabbed a coffee and some lunch. Continuing on to Grantchester we parked and walked down to the meadows and sat on the edge of the Cam for lunch. On the way back we called into the Orchard which is famous as the haunt of intellectuals such as Rupert Brookes, Bertrand Russell and Virginia Wolff.They would often sit under the apple trees in the orchard and philosophise on the ways of the world. As we were leaving, Damian rang to say his train was late. We decided to head into Cambridge and book into the college. This we managed without any dramas. Entering the college grounds and seeing the old buildings for the first time was quite an experience. Our room is a two bedroom students room on the 4th floor up a creaky wooden staircase.
    We dropped our bags then returned the car to Enterprise. We taxi shared back into town and then walked back the last bit to the college. Damian rang to say he had arrived and was in his room just as we got back.
    After meeting up and settling in with a drink at the Buttery Bar, we went for a stroll and dinner at a nearby restaurant.
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  • Day83

    Wallis Farmstay Hardwick

    June 30, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Today we went for a drive around the local area. The countryside is fairly flat and mainly farmland with villages fairly close together. The closer one gets to Cambridge the more suburban they get. Found a nice little village shop for lunch. Across the road was an old church so we went for a quick look. Inside was a man playing the organ which added a bit of mood to the experience.
    Drove back through Grantchester (of TV fame). It looked quite interesting so we resolved to visit again in the morning on our way into Cambridge.
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  • Day82

    Heading to Cambridge

    June 29, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Packed up and headed off to Cambridge this morning. We have a 2 night stay outside Cambridge before meeting Damian at St John's College on Sunday. We decided to take a less direct route which took us through Rutland ( the smallest county in England) We headed for Rutland Water which is a huge man made lake. The village of Hambleton sits on a peninsular which juts into the lake and is mainly farming land. Hambleton itself is a very gentrified town where Noel Coward wrote Haywire, one of his big theatre hits. Apparently, the town was the scene of many weekend parties for the set and various aristocratic types. Speaking of which nearby is the home of the Earl of Gainsborough at Exton Hall. The house isn't open to the public but the whole village of Exton is part of the estate and is such a pretty place. The church is also set on the estate and can only be accessed down a walking lane. We wandered down and had a good look around. Very pretty setting with a folly by a lake nearby and very brown cows in the foreground. It was great to see lots of sailing, nature reserves and bird watching activities in this area. We also stopped at a larger market town called Oakham where we had a delicious lunch at a healthfood cafe, and a delicious coffee at a roaster. Oakham was nice and we we were a bit sorry we weren't staying for a night or two. At the centre of Oakham are the remains of a small 12th century castle. The castle hall is still there. Inside the walls are covered in horseshoes that historically have been given to the local lord by visiting dignitaries as a tribute. Anyway, we continued to Hardwick just outside Cambridge to our " farmstay" We have a nice room with a kitchenette but it's nothing like a farm and not very rural. Must say after our wonderful scenic cottages to date we were disappointed. Just down the road though we went to a 17C pub called the Blue Lion and had a nice meal.Read more

  • Day81

    Heatwave

    June 28, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Last night the Met officially called it a heat wave in the UK. The weather has been bright and sunny since we arrived in Staffordshire with temperatures in the mid 20s. The news is full of parboiled Brits at the seaside and with their feet in ponds. We are are quite enjoying the mild sunny days ourselves.
    Quiet day, washing clothes and preparing for our move to Cambridge tomorrow. Highlight of lunch at Denstone Farm Shop. There are quite a few of these farm shops around and as you would expect their quality varies. Generally though they're nicer than a regular town cafe. We've been trying to buy our eggs from the free range roadside stands. The best were in the Yorkshire Dales where we bought a dozen eggs, all huge and all double yokers. It was amazing and we'll no doubt be talking about it for years!! Very happy that Damian has arrived safely and is staying with his friend Ali in Maidenhead. On Sunday he's training up to Cambridge to meet us for the week.
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