Saturday, July 14, 2018

England Trip part 8 - more Cambridge

Still Thursday. After leaving the library we decided to visit King's College. We seem to be walking the right way.

It's on the other side of the river Cam. We watched the punting for  a while. This way to move a boat is punting. The person doing it has a long pole. Some where wood and some metal. They push the boat along with it. But of course this can only be done on rivers where the water is not too deep. 

I would have liked doing it but you don't sit in the boat, you almost lay. That would not be comfortable for me, especially not the getting in and the getting out.

And just around the corner, there it is: King's College Chapel.

It's not a church but a private chapel. Of course we had to buy tickets. But we had to go in. After all, we listen to the Carols and Lessons broadcast from here every Christmas.

The organ in the middle.

The choristers stalls on the altar side.

The altar area with the painting by Rubens.

The organ in the middle from the altar side.

There was a lot to see. There were historical explanations in the side chapels. Suddenly we were told to leave and herded out. The reason: There was going to be a taping. I was a bit miffed because we were not done and it was not told to us that we had limited time when we bought the "not so cheap" tickets. We still would have bought them but timed ourselves better. Oh well ...

We wandered around on the grounds. This must be the court yard with the gate in the back to the left.

More punting watching. It's so peaceful.

When we passed the chapel to go to the exit we could hear Christmas music singing.

Lots of little shops and a lot for tourists, but this clock in a corner window was something else. May be the VIDEO will give you an idea. A plaque said: The Corpus Clock, designed by John C Taylor and inaugurated in 2008 by Stephen Hawking, is exact every fifth minute ...

We saw a tourist information office and went there. Next to it was a Harry Potter shop. OMG.

Leaving the Tourist Info we had to go through a Cambridge shop and I actually bought 4 things (none city related) which will make nice stocking stuffers - without complaints from James (smile).

Not far was Great St Mary's Church. Another impressive place. The look towards the altar.

Can't help it. Ecclesiastic things always interest me.

The organ and look towards the back of the church.

On the side we found this: A first edition of the 1611 King James Bible. More then 400 years old. This Bible is a large edition designed to be read aloud in church rather than used for private devotion. 

The self-guiding pamphlet had also this information: A Royal Visit - Queen Elizabeth 1
Queen Elizabeth 1 only visited Cambridge once in her long reign, in August 1564, when she was 30 years old. It goes on telling what she did during the 5 days and in the end it says "she was delighted with her stay in Cambridge and would have stayed longer if provision of beer and ale could have been made". 
This is not surprising to us since the water was not really drinkable at that time.

Time to walk toward the hotel. We were desperate for some refreshment. We were looking for a pub but found this. Very nice and very friendly.

Ups, it's after 5pm. The waitress tells us that it is happy hour and everything with the red heart sign is 2 the same for the price of 1. Well, ok! James orders 2 of the Beefeater Pink. I took this page for Bec. The whole G&T offering.

We thought we should have some nibbles with it. Yes, Beetroot Humous sounded good to us ... and it was. I have to try to make that at home. And doesn't it look nice?

Ha-ha, the waitress came with two more which we had not ordered. She decided to leave them anyway. So we had 4 for the price of 1. That's really a happy hour! No harm done though since there was a lot of ice in it.

We walked all the way back to the hotel (on the left). On the right The Flying Pig (pub). 

We rested a little in our room. Checked email etc etc. We so hope that James' brother Stephen will meet us tomorrow since he wasn't able to come to the family gathering in Christchurch. No word yet.

Time for dinner. We decided to give the other pub (The Flying Pig across the street) a try. But no luck. There were lots of men in suits and ladies in high heels with fascinators on their heads, but no food on Thursdays.

Not far was a restaurant called "Smokeworks". Didn't really sound like it would our kind of place but it actually turned out very nice. We found a table for two. These neon pipes go from each table to a number board (behind James). You have a switch on the wall. You turn it when you are ready to order or need something else. Really cool. And it worked like a charm.

They had a selection of "loaded fries" which reminded James and me of the poutine in Canada. James had the Pitmaster Fries (smoky BBQ beans, cheese sauce, pulled pork, grated cheese) and he thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

I had Quinoa Salad (roasted courgettes, beetroot, onions, chilli, sundried tomatoes, honey, mustard & Lemon juice dressing) with smoked trout added. OMG!

And it wasn't far to our hotel where we had a little nightcap in the bar behind the breakfast room.

Friday - After another good nights sleep we tried to be a little earlier today for breakfast. We had to pack which wasn't that much because we had only our backpacks and one extra little bag. Another check of the emails (when we still have WiFi). James found one from his brother that he will not be able to come since he had a workman come to the house. A big disappointment.

We settled the bill and left our luggage at the desk. The Botanical Garden across the street opens at 10 am. We had agreed to meet my friend Diana and her husband Chris at the Cafe at noon (of course it would have been only me if Stephen could have come). We took the time before to look around.

When I look at my selection of photos now I must agree it is not so exciting. But I promise you, the garden was very nice. It was different then ours in Nashville and Richmond which are so (trying to think of the right word) ... perfect. This one was so natural. So many different things. And we didn't even see much of it. 
We saw a Chronological Bed = plants with labels when they were introduced in England and from where.
We saw the Scented Garden = where we pretty much touched every leaf to smell our fingers until our fingers had so many smells that we couldn't distinguish any more.
The Herbaceous Beds were very large and so full of different things blooming in different heights that you could not see any dirt.
Oh, and the trees.

We had to hurry to be at the cafe at noon. Diana and Chris were already there and had found a nice table outside under an umbrella with shade. It had been a long time since we had actually met. Diana and I correspond and read each other's blogs. We both are lacemakers and quilters and generally like crafts.
We chatted a storm, got our lunch from the cafe and chatted more for a good 2 hours, until it was time to leave. Diana and Chris had come by car and we had arranged for them to park at our hotel, but their drive was most likely 1 1/2 hours.
James and I had to get our luggage, walk to the station and catch a train.

On the way to the exit we passed a whole field of wild flowers.

On the way to the station we passed a place with a huge screen and people watched Wimbledon tennis.

We reached the station and walked right to the waiting train (since James had bought the tickets with the first bunch) which left in 3 minutes. How lucky is that? It was a slow train stopping often but we didn't care.
Wished I could take better photos of the King's Cross roof over the big hall. I think it is awesome.

Underground to Paddington. But which platform do we need here? Not so easy to find out here. There are at least 14 I know off. But we were lucky. Got to the right one, train to Slough was waiting and left as soon as we were in it.

The same in Slough. There was the train waiting for us. And it takes only 6 minutes to Windsor. I must admit I felt a little worn. Only 5849 steps on Wednesday, but 11003 on Thursday and 11456 on Friday. An evening on Jane's sofa with the leg up felt good.
Sarah did FaceTime with us since it was only after 5 pm in Virginia. Colin was on Caleb's bike. He came with a wet cloth to clean it. Owen doesn't care. Ah, it does Omi's heart good.

And that is the end of the Cambridge chapter. Looking forward to sort out the photo-photos and do more research. James' grandfather seemed to have been a very interesting man. So much information has gone lost though. Nobody to ask any more. - - There is a lesson!