Cambridge

I managed to drive on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car around countless roundabouts, and tiny streets without getting in an accident.  So, automatic win for me!  Its no wonder why smart people come out of Cambridge.  It has a setting that promotes studying.  It’s a really large campus in a fairly vast city.  It’s amazingly picturesque with its narrow cobblestone streets, centuries old buildings, and hidden passageways to hole in the wall café’s. 

If it wasn’t for all of the college aged kids walking around, on their bikes, or on the field playing lacrosse, you wouldn’t actually know that is was a college town.  The classrooms were tucked away, out of site, sometimes requiring a walk through a quiet park to an alley that led you to a stone building and a spiral staircase to get to the room.  At one point, I was scared to say that it actually creates an atmosphere that encourages you to study. 

A sad point though, at least from our perspective, is that the town seemed tainted.  On all of those cobblestone streets, down those passageways, we were hoping to see mom and pop shops, family owned cafes, a classic pub.  What we got was Starbucks, TKMaxx, Boots.  It’s not that we are super cultured or that we put our noses up to such conformity and commercialization.  It actually makes a whole lot of sense for corporations to take advantage of the concentrated wealth that exists in that town.  However, it gives you a different appreciation for the history of the buildings, of the environment, of the culture when you can experience it first hand in all aspects – including the avoidance of commercialization.  All of the old cities, like Canterbury, Dublin, Prague, Florence, and especially London have the heavy commercial areas, but are complimented nicely by “old Town” areas.  In all fairness, we may have simply not had enough time to see all the sites given the size of the place.  Commercial or not, Cambridge is amazing and will be worth a revisit.  If you can find a town slightly outside of the city, that may be best though 200 Pound per night for a basic room will leave you with little money to spend on all those commercial shops.  After walking about, it was time for me to get some lunch.

After much searching, we found a non-chain restaurant.  The setting was as picturesque as you could ask for.  It was a cozy place that had a limited but straightforward menu.  Unfortunately, the points they gained in setting and service were quickly lost with food.  The Potato skins were pretty good but the featured Sunday Roast was of equal taste as that of rubber.  That’s quite all right.  The experience allowed us to find Jesus (Jesus St, that is), which lead us back to the car park and thus we were on our way back to London.