Monday, 11 February 2013

A tourist morning

We seem to be filling our weekends with more social things than tourist atrractions at the moment. We had afternoon teas on both Saturday and Sunday with two sets of new friends in Cambridge. It's nice to feel like we are getting to know people here and not just experiencing Cambridge like tourists. For most of the week now, we are just doing fairly ordinary things like we would back home and I'm really enjoying that and finding I'm learning a lot more about the place that way.

Of course, sometimes, we grab our cameras and aren't afraid to look like we've just jumped off one of the big tourist buses that arrive on the weekends. This weekend we grabbed the chance on Saturday morning to look at Trinity College. Most of it was closed for filming, but we did get to see Henry VIII with his chair-leg sceptre, the TCN stone and the great court (of Harold-Abrahams-in-Chariots-of-Fire fame!).

We also got to go inside the Wren Library (part of Trinity College) which is a beautiful old library and has display cases with all kinds of treasures like A.A. Milne's manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh, some pages from Isaac Newton's notes and letters (plus his walking stick and a lock of his hair!!), and a manuscript copy of Paul's letters from eighth-century England. It's a working library so absolute silence needs to be observed. Dave and the kids went inside first while I stayed outside with Lydia and took photos.

Then we swapped and Dave walked home with the four kids while I went and looked at the library on my own (bliss!) and then had a wander around Cambridge. I was in a slightly different part from where I've been with the kids and managed to get hopelessly lost - actually doing a full circle and ending up where I started while thinking I was heading in a straight line. This had a bit to do with the medieval layout of the streets and a bit to do with my sense of direction. It didn't really matter. I discovered that it is quite fun being lost in a town like Cambridge as long as you don't have four kids in tow!

Maybe I'll aim to get 'lost' again sometime (and make sure I have enough money in my purse for hot chocolate as well).

Lydia enjoying the view of St John's college with me


Catherine said...

Hi Nicole,
I'm really loving your blog posts - hearing about all the places you are seeing and visiting! I was born in Histon which is a little village just north of Cambridge.
You may have already heard about it, but the Round Church there run Christian Heritage tours which are really truly wonderful. They take you through the colleges and significant places where Christian people who have made an impact studied or worked - such as Charles Simeon, Wilberforce, Henry Martyn. I think your kids would really enjoy going along as well. When we did the tour, we were taken by a lovely, godly older man - meeting him and seeing his glowing joy and faith was the best bit for me!
Stay warm!

Catherine said...

PS - you've probably heard about English Heritage as well, but they run wonderful days at significant places around the country which are truly wonderful for kids. They are worth planning your weekend around and making a trip out of town! We spent a weekend once down between Cantebury and Dover, where we enjoyed an English Heritage Elizabethan festival - all the real costumes and music and food, sport etc on display. And there is (was) a great Cantebury Tales exhibition in Cantebury, too.
Enough tourist advice from me!

Nicole said...

thanks Catherine! The tour of Cambridge is on our list of things to do! Thanks for the encouragement to do it. I'll look into the English Heritage days out as well. Thank you!