I got up when it was still dark on the streets of London, and by far the earliest that I had been up since the flight. I took a shower and ate my cereal trying to picture exactly what Cambridge had to offer. I’ll be honest I had heard of it and I knew there were colleges there but I really had no idea what to expect.
I met up with my travel group (Laura Burgin, Paige, and Kayla) and we headed off toward Kings Cross Station.
Yes. I said Kings Cross Station. Like Harry Potter, I literally freaked out! Unfortunately I didn’t get to a chance to find Platform 9 3/4. But it’s not that far of a walk or tube ride so I will definitely make a day of it soon. 🙂
We got on our train with most of our classmates, our professor (Dr. Mee), and his lovely wife. We were off to Cambridge. It was only maybe a 45 minute train ride and then we found ourselves in this really quaint train station. We started booking it toward where we were meeting our tour guide. And in true Maddie-form, I tried to take in everything as I went visually and of course through photos (for you lovely people).
For more you have to look on my Facebook, I literally took 200 something pictures of architecture, beautiful churches, colleges and all that jazz.
We met up with our tour guides in this historic church called the Round Church. It was modeled after the Crusades by the sanctuaries in the Holy Land. This was different for the time period because most churches were shaped like a cross not a circle. This was a place for people to stop and pray before they went out on their crusades around europe or just to pray for their well being (the middle ages was a really hard time to live in).
We went to about 5 or so difference colleges and their respective chapels where the tour guide told us all kinds of interesting stories. My favorite was the very first college we visited which was Magdalene College. There we found out that this was the college where C.S. Lewis spent his final few years as the English Professor.
According to a old bishop, C.S. Lewis had a whistling kettle and he would put it on really low on Sunday mornings before the sermon started and if the sermon started to go on for “too long” in C.S. Lewis’ opinion, the kettle would whistle in his room that is just around the corner from the sanctuary so he would just grumble his way out. The bishop said that he started to learn that he needed to make his sermons shorter if he Lewis was going to stay for the whole thing.
I thought that it was so interesting to think of one of the greatest writers of all time, getting grumpy that a sermon was going on for too long and leaving his kettle on to have an excuse to step out.
My favorite college though was King’s College. The chapel was just magnificent and so crazy detailed. It took 101 years to build it in total. All in limestone, even in the middle ages they knew that limestone from different places was different densities so they would label every stone from every place and place them on the exact same sides of the building respectively so that the building was perfectly even. They had to do this on account of the really shallow foundation they had built (it’s a huge building and they had to do it all by hand, as you can imagine it wasn’t popular).
King’s college is home to the largest fan-vaulted ceiling in the world as well as the largest collection of original stained glass windows. It is also one of the prime examples of Gothic style churches. It was just… breathtaking.
The way that the windows are set up is that the top part of the window is the old testament, and the lower part is part of the new testament that ties into the panel above it. The middle panel of both the top and bottom have angels or pages with latin scripts telling you what is happening to the left or the right of that panel. The picture above was my favorite and I hope you can see it. But the top panel on the left-hand side pictures God providing manna for his people in the desert. And the picture directly below it is Jesus at the last supper. The message for both of these is “God providing sustenance for his people spiritually and physically.” I just thought that was beautiful.
We went to a bunch of different colleges (like I said before). There are 18 or 19 of them in Cambridge. Yes. That is a TON! This place is the definition of college town. But you know, it was one of the most quaint and nice places that I’ve ever visited. Everyone was so nice and the day was just beautiful!
Cambridge had so much to offer and so much history. It was just crazy to think that so many famous and influential people came from this little town. Sir Isaac Newton went to school here (Trinity College) as did Lord Tennyson (also Trinity College).
I had lunch at a pub that is famous for the fact that the 2 scientists who discovered DNA would frequent, it’s called The Eagle. The fish and chips were pretty good. I have to admit it was my first time having fish and chips so I don’t really have a point of reference, but I ate all of it.
I loved Cambridge and would love to go back, it was different from London, but still just different feeling. But I’m thankful to say that the more I keep buying my groceries and coming back to the same flat the more I feel like London is becoming my home. Which is good I guess since it is going to be for another 100 days or so.
Although, I would be lying not to say that I miss home. I miss Chickfila so much! I literally would electrocute myself again for some. I would also kill someone for a good Cheeseburger (their meat here is not so good).
I miss my friends, my family and my furry family. But I guess I’ll be back soon enough and you guys can always skype me! 🙂