Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Arrival and Cambridge

27 - 29 June 2015
We flew out of Sydney on a mild winter's day.  We had hoped to book business class seats on points, but there weren't any available, so we paid for Premium Economy seats and requested an upgrade on each leg.  We were not in luck. Apparently they have dramatically reduced the number of Business Class seats on the planes, so I don't think we'll be lucky on the way back either.

Two days before we were due to fly out I came down with a cold - for the first time in several years!  

After a long flight - during which I didn't sleep much but constantly had to keep blowing my nose - we arrived to an overcast and drizzly England. We picked up our hire car and headed off to St Neots in Cambridgeshire, where Andy's parents lived.  It was a Sunday and there was no traffic on the roads, so we made better time than we'd expected to.  We visited his parents and stayed there til mid afternoon, when we headed to our B&B to get a bit of sleep before dinner with Andy's parents, brother and sister-in-law, and their four children.

The place we are staying at, Model Farm in Little Gransden, is lovely.  We have a very comfortable room in a converted outbuilding.  Sadly, they have decided not to do B&B any more, so we wouldn't be able to stay here again.

Monday morning we woke to a glorious day.  We were not seeing Andy's relatives that day, so decided to head to Cambridge.  We've been to Cambridge on two previous occasions, but there were still lots of things we hadn't seen, so it seemed a good destination.

The first thing we visited was the Round Church.  We'd seen it from the outside before, of course, but had never been inside. It's a Norman church built about 1130, so it predates the University by about 80 years (the University started in 1209, when a group of scholars fled Oxford after "town and gown" trouble and settled in Cambridge).  As well as looking at the interior of this little church, there was a series of panels documenting the history of Cambridge, and a video about the town.

After leaving the church we wandered around the town for a while.

We got some food and drinks for lunch, and Andy had the idea he wanted to go and sit on the grass in the Backs (the area the other side of the river Cam than the famous colleges), and we headed off to do that.  Unfortunately there didn't seem to be many places we could sit and see the river. We came to the back gate of Clare College.  We'd been there before, and I remembered that there were lovely gardens on the far side of the river, so we paid out entrance fee and entered.  We found a lovely spot near a willow tree and had  our lunch.  I was flicking through the guide book I'd bought and saw a picture of the main entrance which sported a sign saying that "No cycles, dogs, radios or picnics".  Oops.  Too late.  And we weren't the only ones - there were people the other side of the willow eating their lunch as well.  

After our "illegal" picnic, we wandered through Clare College and then around town while we waited for the time appointed for our guided tour of Corpus Christi College and the Parker Library.

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