Whilst waiting for our new bank cards to arrive with Hannah, and her being around for us to actually collect them (see previous post), we decided to head to Cambridge – a city that neither of us had visited previously.
This fulfilled two purposes; firstly, we’d get to explore this great city with its renowned academic heritage and secondly, Cambridge is on a direct line to Kings Cross station where Annie could meet up with Hannah, collect the bank cards and thus return us to solvency!
We stayed on the Camping & Caravan Club site situated just to the South West of Cambridge and within walking distance of the Park & Ride – our new found salvation for visiting cities after the parking hassles of Winchester.
Cambridge is a relatively compact city which makes getting around and orientating oneself pretty easy. Its academic roots are everywhere; the numerous old college buildings juxtaposed with more modern structures and students, seemingly the majority of the population, screaming between lectures on various makes, models and vintages of bicycle with scant regard for any other vehicle, pedestrian or animal! Once at their destination the riders simply abandoned their steed, sometimes three or four deep, against the nearest fence as they scurried in to another lecture. The effect of this was that in the foreground of every magnificent building was this pile of multicoloured, rusting, metalwork which rather spoiled the overall visual effect.
We were fortunate to visit on yet another gloriously sunny day which gave the honey-coloured buildings an almost luminescent quality and certainly showed the city at its best. It was interesting to think how many famous faces had trodden these streets and entered these buildings before us; Isaac Newton, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Hugh Laurie, David Mitchell and of course Mel & Sue to name but a few.
Passing over the River Cam we stopped to watch some expert punting in action, although some of the punters (or is it “puntees” in this case) anyway, the people reclined in the boat had acutely embarrassed expressions on their faces as us paparazzi on the bridge seized the photographic opportunity afforded by the ongoing unseasonal sunshine to snap, video and selfie away at them as they floated about on the river whilst the “punter” (bloke on the back with the pole) tried to engage them in conversation. Sadly, none of the punters offered us a “You’ve Been Framed” moment by falling, hilariously, into the water so, disappointed, we moved on.
Certainly, Cambridge has something to offer everyone whether it be culture, shopping, entertainment or education and I’m sure we’ll return again. Although probably not for the education bit.
After the wonderful excursion to Cambridge the previous day, a change of pace was required so a bike ride to Grantchester was in order. Another wonderful feature of the area was the multitude of cycle paths – we could have easily cycled into the city centre again but instead chose the more rural route out to this nearby village which, apart from sharing the name with the ITV series starring Robson Green, was otherwise unremarkable.
The following day was the main reason for hanging around the area – the excursion to London to meet up with Hannah and regain our financial freedom! Once again, due to having Jack, Annie made a solo trip but was there and back within three hours, such is the proximity to the capital.
The Cambridge trip was rounded off on our final day with a trip by train – all of us, including Jack (terrified) – on Hannah’s recommendation to visit the nearby town of Baldock (or Baldrick as we insisted on calling it) where we stayed for nearly 20 minutes before heading back. Sorry Baldock but you didn’t have much to offer!
So, mission accomplished: bank changed (VERY impressed with Nationwide so far) cards received and money all accounted for and accessible again. So, what happens next?
Well, watch this space for some exciting new developments…!