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Published: August 7th 2016
Our studio at the Falcons Nest is very well appointed and is like a small apartment but with everything except the shower/toilet in one room.
We are back to the usual breakfast of muesli, fruit and yogurt and of course toast with spreads which is much welcomed after the Tesco croissants the remaining of which will be given the heave ho.
We have planned a leisurely day with a self guided walking tour of the main sights of Cambridge which seem to be contained within a relatively small area. So a bit of breakfast television with our muesli and toast was in order and we got hooked for half an hour on Judge Judy on the CBS Reality channel. We have never been convinced that the people that appear before Judge Judy on all sorts of cases that often seem unbelievable aren’t paid actors.However, anything goes in the USA!
The confusion of the actual road the Raptor Centre and the accommodation of Falcons Nest meant that in our two trips between Huntingdon and here we took two different routes and this morning as we left for Huntingdon we added a third.
We have not got to the
point that we are not sure whether we go north, south, east or west to Huntingdon but we have now arrived in the town on three different roads.However, they all lead to the same road to get to Yvonne’s guest house as the small town has a very efficient ring road which also means that if you miss your turn it is not long before you are around again to make the right decision.
We are also meeting Loni and Martin from Tauranga in Cambridge who are staying with their daughter and children at St Ives a town that has been on one of our routes to or from Falcons Nest.
Loni also worked with Gretchen at the Care Home and she and Martin are here on holiday until September.They are bringing their 2 year old grandson Floyd with them too.
We had heard that parking can be difficult in Cambridge and expensive so we were pleased to have tracked down via Google Maps a free car park which was a 20 minute walk into the middle of the town and the start of our walk. It was located in the green belt area that encircles the
old part of the town and called Sheeps Green/Lammas Land which seemed unlikely name until you realise that this is England and there are ‘unlikely ‘location names all over the place, to us that is!
Finding Shheps Green/Lammas Land free parking proved elusive and so we took a street park in the same area for a pound an hour which didn’t seem as expensive as we thought parking was going to be although we were 20 minutes walk to where we were meeting Loni and Martin.
Yvonne had been to Cambridge before and had been told about a tea room that made the best Boston Buns in the world even to the extent that they had been posted to New Zealand for someone who couldn’t get by without them.
We found Fitzbillies tea room easily as it was on our path from where we parked the car and it wasn’t long before Loni and Martin arrived to join us.
We had the tea room specialty of a Boston Bun which came smothered in a treacle sauce which enhanced the otherwise firm bun and made it quite tasty but not too sweet.
There are so many
options for a self guided walk around this centuries old University City and history virtually oozes out of building you pass and look at. We chose a walk that would take us past the principal highlights in a relatively small area. We could have gone inside many of the buildings, for a fee, but our time was limited and we were happy just to get the feel of the place by walking past and reading the historical notes from the guide book we carried.
Our walk started as we left Fitzbillies with St Botolops Church being on one side of the Kings Parade and Corpus Christi College being on the other. The church was built in 1350 and although we didn’t go inside we could see from the entrance a beautiful stained glass window which was installed in the 19th
century. Corpus Christi College was founded in 1352 and originally trained priests. It was the 6th
of the various Cambridge colleges to be established.
As we mentioned earlier history is certainly all around you in Cambridge and almost right next door to Corpus Christi is Kings College founded in 1441 by Henry VI and has an outstanding academic
record as well as a world famous choir and Chapel. The immaculately groomed lawn outside the entrance says ‘wouldn’t you just love to walk over me ‘until you notice the polite messages ‘Please do not walk on the lawn’.
At the corner of Kings Parade and Market Street is Great St Marys Church built in the late 15th
century and just as light rain started to fall we were approached by a burly student who must have noticed our accents and he introduced himself as having attended Rotorua Boys College before he started to market a tour and punt on the Cam which we should sign up for now with a 3pm start time. This was still a couple of hours away and by that time we would probably be ready to head back to our car. We thanked him for his offer and he could tell we weren’t interested and he left us to give his spiel to more tourists coming along behind us.
One road followed directly onto another and we were now in Trinity Street location of possibly the most well known of the Cambridge Colleges, Trinity College founded in 1546 by Henry VIII.Alumni of
Trinity include Prince Charles, Ernest Rutherford, the Kiwi who split the atom and Isaac Newton. So many other famous people from history and all walks of life had passed through the splendid arch into the vast courtyard.
At the end of the street we came to The Holy Sepulchre or The Round Church built in 1130 but has had its appearance changed over the years although the round construction has remained as it was when it was built. Its congregation grew too big by 1994 and its services were moved to another nearby church and today it stands more as a museum to its past.
Further on and past some terraced houses we came to the turning point of our self guided walk at Jesus Green, a sizeable open grassy space and named after Jesus College at its northern end.
We went down to the Cam River and then started back along the riverside walk to Bridge Street where all the activity was centred around people taking a ride in a punt at Ten pounds a head. We decided against this attraction not only because now that the light rain had passed and the ‘punters’(excuse the pun)were
out in force we were also running a bit short on time.
Loni and Martin and their grandson Floyd had to catch a bus to get back to St Ives and the three of us left on the self guided walk wanted to finish the sights still in the booklet that we were yet to pass.
Heading over the bridge we couldn’t go past an ice cream shop and even though we could hardly say it was ‘ice cream weather ‘we each bought one to lick on as we carried on our stroll.
As we walked up the other side of the River Cam we missed the Bridge of Sighs as it is within the rear of the college grounds which seemed to have free access to but it was out of sight as we passed and we only realised it later that we could have taken a diversion to see the covered bridge over the river.
We were running out of numbered sights and took a bridge over the River Cam where there some lovely views both up and down the river where there were a number of punts and their passengers passing underneath the
We passed between Trinity Hall and College and back to the street of the same name and started the walk back towards the car to head home.
However Yvonne had one more place to show us first.
The Eagle Pub has been around since 1667 and is one of the largest in the city. At the rear is the RAF bar with signatures and writings made by airmen during WW2 while being stationed in the area. It was time for a beer and rest and sit back and soak up the history in this special place which we now include in our list of those unique places we have seen or visited on the BBA V3.
We were a bit past the time we had on the parking meter when we got back to the car but there was no overdue ticket on the windscreen.
On the way back to Falcons Nest we called in at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial.
It is located out in the countryside and like many of these cemeteries where men and women who fought on foreign soil to liberate their allies, the scene is one of serene quietness and a lovely landscape.
The cemetery was opened as a temporary burial place in 1943 but after the war it became permanent and is the only WW2 American cemetery and memorial in England. There are 3809 headstones and famous names include the band leader Glenn Miller and Joseph Kennedy, eldest son of Joseph and Rose Kennedy of the famous Kennedy family.
The cemetery was due to close so we didn’t have time to visit the memorial at the far end of the rows of white crosses but we did catch the last notes of The Last Post being played as the American flag was lowered for the day.
Like all these places commemorating the fallen of the two world wars of the 20th
century that we have visited it was a moving experience as you look out over the line upon line of white crosses which becomes even more emotive when you realise this is repeated in so many other places across Europe.
Believe it or not our route back to Falcons Nest became the fourth different road in four trips to and from the place. Who would believe that there were so many roads leading to a place that we had difficulty in finding in the first place!
Yvonne came back with us to our studio and we had a coffee and a rest before heading out again to nearby St Ives where we had arranged to meet up again with Loni and Martin for dinner at a local pub.
We met them at the Golden Lion in the quaint market town with a large town square but on their suggestion we went over to the White Hart, which was a bit more of a traditional and intimate bar/restaurant and checked out their menu which in the end we decided was a bit more varied with different size meals on offer. We were becoming a bit wary of the size of the pub meals and we still have a few more nights ahead before we have our own catering again although a couple of nights with my cousin Rhona might drop our intake back to more reasonable levels.
Gretchen and I ended up with medium size meals of Cumberland sausages and mash for me while Gretchen had the ‘senior citizens’ size meal of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. Our three fellow diners had full size meals and each struggled to get through them. By the time we added in the pints of ale and a glass of wine or two we had more than achieved our calorie count for the day
We said our farewells to Loni and Martin who are staying in the UK until early September and we drove Yvonne back to her guest house accommodation in Huntingdon saying our farewells to her too. On the way we spotted a rather spectacular sunset with a rainbow a phenomenon we hadn’t ever seen before.
It was still in the sky on the horizon as we drove back to Falcons Nest but I had run out of battery for the video camera and the light had faded to probably not be good enough for a photo so the image of this unusual sight will have to just remain in our memories.
Tomorrow we head north further to the Peak District for a drive through an area we have only touched briefly on before but are looking forward to seeing more of.
PS:Introduced a little Beach Boys number to remember to be loyal to your school as we are sure all.On Youtube as usual.
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