Saturday, May 21, 2011

Traveling Day to Cambridge “Official Post”

Today was a long day of traveling. We got to experience taking the “tube” as a large group. We had to take the “tube” from the London Paddington train station to the Liverpool Street station. This was slightly difficult simply because of the sheer size of our group and our luggage. We all made it safely to the other station and made it to Cambridge in time for our walking tour.
We met up with our guide, Mary, for the walking tour at three and had a wonderful tour of Cambridge for about two hours. We started off in the market place and Mary told us about how many of the streets got their names from what used to be sold there. The market has been there for hundreds of years and still runs every day.

Mary showed us a pub called The Eagle, which has a few cool stories. One story is of a child who haunts the upstairs rooms. The child died in one of the rooms and it is said that it haunts the room unless the window is left open and its soul can escape. Even to this day, it is written in the lease that window must be left open at all times, no matter the weather. So, Mary says that even in the pouring rain, snow, or sleet, that window is always found open.

Another interesting thing about The Eagle is that the American soldiers during World War II used to be regulars there. We know this because they left their mark all over the ceiling of one of the rooms. They took lipstick and drew or wrote on the ceiling and burned it in with their cigarette lighters. Some wrote their names, while others drew pictures. It is a very interesting room. A group of us later discovered that this pub has very good “pub grub”, and I would recommend it if you ever find yourself hungry in Cambridge.

Mary took us to see some of the colleges of Cambridge University. There are thirty-one colleges in the Cambridge University. They are all separate and independent colleges, but the students all belong to Cambridge University and meet together to go to lectures and exams.

Since it is exam time here in Cambridge, most of the campuses are closed to the public. A few are open though and we spent the most amount of time at St. Johns College where Mary showed us some interesting places. We got to see the first court, chapel, three different stages of libraries, the dining hall, and other courtyards. The college is large and impressively old. It’s not what we think of as Americans as a college. There are courtyards where you are not allowed on the grass, historic buildings, rivers with people punting, and it’s all very charming.

After the tour we were given the rest of the night to explore, go to dinner, and relax at the hostel. After a long day of travel and tours everyone is keeping it pretty low key tonight. That is, the girls are anyway. The boys somehow always find more energy and are burning it off at the park, throwing a Frisbee.

That’s all for now.

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