Cambridge Calling

A Day Trip To Cambridge

The perks of living in a hall housing over three hundred students is that someone or the other will take the initiative to plan a trip, or well suggest one. So when Geoffrey expressed the desire to go visit Cambridge and many other places, everyone jumped on board. Not long after the plan was made that the day arrived.
Since we intended to arrive during the day, we had to start quite early in the morning. A frosty grey sky welcomed us as we set off. Eyes half closed and hands shielding yawns, we walked to the station. A brief wait at the station and our journey had begun. I had plans of catching up on my studies during the two hour bus ride, but the picturesque landscape beckoned my attention and within thirty minutes or so I was staring outside, studies be damned. Before we knew it, the bus had stopped and we had arrived at Cambridge.
A breeze welcomed us as we got off the bus. Not knowing where or what to do, we all started walking towards the centre of the small city. Next thing you know, we’re all seated in a restaurant called The Regal Wetherspoon. Designed with high back chairs and candelabras, the restaurant exuded warmth and a cozy atmosphere. Add to its charm, the walls were lined with slot machines.

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One by one, everyone went up to the counter and placed their order. While we waited, everyone seated at my table decided to try my hat on. The results were amusing to say the least.

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Before long the food had arrived and the tables were laden with drinks ranging from beers to coffee and mouth watering dishes like a traditional English breakfast to chocolate pancakes. As we munched on our food, Olivia (fellow hall resident and official tour guide for the day) and Mumma Cerveza were planning our itinerary.
Once they arrived, we set off once again. We walked through the centre of the city where food and jewellery stalls had been set up, into a very official looking building. Turns out we were to go punting and were booking tickets. During this time Tony thought it would be quite amusing to name the group Team Lannisters (Yes, he is watching Game of Thrones. Yes, he seems to be quite influenced by it.)

Team Lannisters

Team Lannisters

Once that was done, we headed out for some sight seeing. Despite the fact that Cambridge is a University city and is quite small, it was packed with wonderful architecture, small winding alleyways and cobbled streets that were strewn with autumnal leaves of all hues.

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We got the chance to stop by Corpus Christi College and were lucky enough to witness a busker who was singing and playing the guitar seated inside a trash can.

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Soon enough, we had reached the punting location. By then the weather had become a little more colder and the sky a shade greyer.

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The boys seemed extremely excited to start punting. Boy, were they in for a ride. They had no idea what they had signed up for. The entire group was to split into three since each boat could seat six people. ‘Team Lannisters’ unanimously decided that Ian would be punting for our boat.

Meet the punters. From left to right - Ian, Edip and Geoffrey.

Meet the punters. From left to right – Ian, Edip and Geoffrey.

Geoffrey who was punting for the boat seating Olivia, Vidhi, Kathleen, Bethany and Leslye seemed to have picked up punting with ease. Edip, punting for the third boat seating Görkem, Miguel, Asmita and Ines, seemed to be struggling quite a bit. He kept going around in circles unable to well, set sail so to speak, ultimately dropping the rod into the water. We on the other hand seemed to be doing quite well. This does not include Ian though who was red in the face. Here’s evidence.

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While he punted, we enjoyed the view. As we sailed further down, the view just became more breathtaking. We crossed under quite a few bridges and professional punters kept passing us by. One punter crossed us twice in half an hour. Show offs I tell you, very hot and good looking show offs. Want proof ?

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Told you.

Karoline who is quite the animal lover fed the ducks swimming past us, crackers and biscuits, the entire way. Tony on the other hand decided to crack inappropriate jokes and act cool.

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We also got to see geese. These geese refused to show their faces, so here is a wonderful picture of their backsides.

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We sailed past King’s College as well which seemed regal from where I sat.

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While we were coming back, Dipa decided to try paddling, as one does to help the punter and help direct the boat. To say she failed was an understatement. We spun around twice before she gave up. As she struggled, Edip who had given up punting and had passed it on to Miguel, commented saying “What are you doing, playing?” This for some reason, still cracks me up.

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Dipa TRYING to paddle.

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Miguel, who took over for Edip.

On returning, as the boats were being tied to the post and we were getting off, we saw Edip somehow punting towards land. He had taken over again and he seemed so stressed. As soon as he handed over the punting rod, relief flooded his face and he gave everyone the victory sign. He swore never to punt again. He was so grateful to be back on dry land that he was close to kissing it. The entire session of punting was so much fun. Not only did we get to see breathtaking views but also got to enjoy the weather and spend time just taking in the peace and calm of it all.

It was mid afternoon by then although it looked like it was late evening. Food beckoned us once more and so we headed off to the closest eatery that would not just feed us but also seat all of us together. Harriets turned out to be the best. After a brief wait outside, we shuffled inside into the warmth of the eating joint. A man was seated at the piano in the centre of the restaurant serenading us with some calm music.

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We hurriedly gave in our orders and soon enough they were placed in front of us. While I ordered for Black Currant coffee infused with Lavender and a Toblerone Cheesecake, everyone around me ordered scones, sandwiches and tea.

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I know it looks a tad bit like tea, but trust me it was coffee.

Once our bellies were satiated, we decided to do some more sight seeing. It had started to drizzle and it was quite chilly. Despite the fact that it was around six in the evening, it felt as though night had settled in.

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After walking around for some time, we decided to split up. While some went off to do some more sight seeing, some went shopping, Team Lannisters decided to go drink. We went back to The Regal Wetherspoon and instead of sitting on the ground floor as we had done previously, we headed upstairs. Not long after, the group had gathered again and we ordered dinner since it would be quite late by the time we arrived back in London. Asmita and I ordered Pomodoro Pasta, Dipa went for Salmon, Karoline ordered the ribs and Ian went for the steak. The others who had gone sight seeing and shopping had decided to sit on the ground floor. Lucky for us, we got to order a free drink along with our food. We dug in the minute the food arrived and it was quite delicious. The serving was quite generous and the ambience was quite lovely.

Soon it was time to leave. We headed out in the rain for the bus stop. Once we had arrived, Bethany decided she wanted to frolic in the rain. So there we were, Bethany and I, spinning in circles and doing the most absurd pirouettes in the muddy grass. Finally the bus doors opened and we trudged inside for our journey back home.

For a day trip, I think we faired quite well and took in as much as anyone else would have had they been there for more than a day. For someone who cribs while walking, I had a splendid time leaving behind my footprints on Cambridge soil. The journey was made even more eventful thanks to the people I travelled with. I can’t wait for another one of these trips !

And now, as if I hadn’t already flooded this post with enough pictures, here are a few more. These are my favourites and I feel quite proud of my photography skills for having captured them.
A big big thank you to Toothless for lending her camera to me. I had so much fun experimenting with it.

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