It is important to remember that travel is not limited only to overseas exploration, and in fact there is so much to see right here in the UK, in my home country. So with this in mind, I decided to go and explore the city of Cambridge.
I’ve been to Cambridge many times before. But by having ‘been’ there does not necessarily mean you have truly ‘been’ there. To most that probably makes no sense at all. If you have physically set foot in a place you have been there right? But I wouldn’t necessarily agree. When I travel I will explore the place I am visiting, I will visit every attraction, test out the local delicacies, photograph the buildings and the streets. Only then would I class myself as really having been there. And why should it be any different in my home country? Well I’ve decided it’s not any different at all. So rather than packing my credit card and aiming for the nearest shopping centre, I took my camera and went to the city to explore.
Cambridge is a beautiful city, known across the world for its prestigious heritage and tradition. Housing one of the world’s best universities it welcomes tourists, locals and scholars alike into its esteemed charm. I wandered the streets admiring the scenic buildings, cobbled streets and impressive churches.
One church in the city even has a coffee shop inside, it is so cute and unique and overlooks the part of the church still in operation, very unusual and well worth a visit if you’re in need of a ‘cuppa’ whilst exploring the city!
There are lots of churches in the city and I decided to climb the bell tower of one to admire some of the cities wondrous views. 123 steps up the views of the streets, shops and university campuses were very impressive!
Talking of university campuses, when I saw the ‘College Closed’ sign on the most well-known college in the university, Kings, I took absolutely no notice. I strolled through the main gates along with the other freshers busy moving in their possessions ready for the start of the academic year. Being roughly the right age and wearing a rather studious long skirt and scarf I blended in very well with the scholars of tomorrow and wandered freely around the college campus.
Having been the eternal student myself with three degrees from three different UK universities, I was intrigued to see the differences between a ‘normal’ university and the famously renowned Cambridge University.
I was immediately struck by the fact that the students lived in these magnificent buildings. I assumed classes would be held here, but to actually live here? Amazing! Freshers were busy carrying their newly purchased pillows and overflowing suitcases into their dorm rooms, ready to start their new life at Cambridge. Seeing as most people seemed new to the university, I didn’t look out of place wandering aimlessly around the college at all.
I strolled through the immaculately presented grounds and into the college buildings. I looked around the dorm corridors, library, halls and student union. And each part of the university that I saw was just as impressive as the next.
One of the main tourist activities to partake in in Cambridge is punting, and I sat down on a bench at the edge of the college grounds overlooking the river and watching people punting along. The guides would pass along on the edge of the boats and I would hear snap shots of their descriptions of Kings College and the bridge before them. One guide said to the people in his boat ‘and on you’re right we have two authentic Cambridge University students…’, referring to my friend and I. I waved in response to this and once they tourists had passed I laughed to myself. I clearly did blend in well as a student!
Sat there watching people arriving, about to commence their university experience made me slightly envious. My student years were some of the best in my life, and I would absolutely love to rewind time and be a fresher again. It feels like only yesterday the older students were knocking on my door and dragging me out for my first night in the student union.
7 years has gone by since that day, and it is scary how quickly time passes you by. I have done so many amazing things since then and had many incredible experiences that I wouldn’t change for the world, but I would love to go back in time and do it all over again. This just reminded me…it is so important to live life for the day, and most certainly do not let it pass you by!
So from here I walked out of the university, still posing as a student, and I even got a goodbye from a university member of staff. You can’t rewind time, but today it almost felt like I did a little.
Cambridge is a beautiful city and I am sure there is so much more to do and see, but for today, that was enough.