Long time no blog (as per usual)! I decided to write something, because I wanted to write a little about the holiday I had two weeks ago, which consisted of visiting my friend Joris in Cambridge together with my friend Merel! Joris has been living in Cambridge for over a year now, and unfortunately we never took the time to visit him before. Besides this, I will be starting my internship at Benedetto de Martino’s lab (check out the link; I’m already on the People page) at the Department of Psychology in Cambridge soon, and I took the opportunity to visit him and his PhD students. It was an interesting experience and I’m excited to start my internship in a few weeks!
Unfortunately, I hardly took any pictures of our trip to Cambridge, because sometimes I’m lazy and forgetful like that. So I’m just going to try and describe things as well as I can and/or I will google some pictures :P.
Merel and I woke up at 4am on Thursday to go to Düsseldorf Weeze airport. When we got out of the plane at 7am (UK time) at London Stansted Airport, it was absolutely freezing. Luckily this wasn’t the case most of the weekend. We took a bus from the airport to the city centre of Cambridge and waited for Joris to be done with his lectures in an extremely dodgy Italian breakfast café at the Market Square. When we met Joris afterwards, we realized we really needed a local to show us where to go in order not to end up in rubbish places meant to make loads of money off tourists. After breakfast, Merel and I visited King’s College and King’s College Chapel.
King’s College was founded by Henry VI in 1441. Due to the Wars of the Roses and the king’s mediocre mental health, not much of the complex had been finished by his death in 1471. However, work was started on King’s College Chapel, the most famous building of the college. Until 1873, only students from Eton were accepted at King’s College. From 1972 onwards, women were admitted. Some notable alumni are E.M. Forster, Derek Jarman, Rupert Brooke, and John Maynard Keynes.
At King’s College we met with Joris, who took us to have coffee at a lovely little coffee house called Indigo. He showed us his college, which is Corpus Christi College. He himself does not live at the college, but at a sort of campus exclusive to graduate students of Corpus Christi College. It seemed like a really nice place to live, with a nice common room, TV room and a bar.
That afternoon I visited my supervisor for my internship at the Department of Psychology. Afterwards, we had some great pub food at The Eagle, a pub owned by Corpus Christi. This is where Crick & Watson rushed to after they had discovered DNA, and there’re still memorabilia of this event to be seen in the pub. I had the Pie of the Day, which was a lamb and sweet potato pie with mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was simple, very British food, but absolutely delicious! We also had a few pints of beer and afterwards we headed to Joris’ college bar. We also visited another college bar, the Darbar (Darwin College’s bar), where we met another friend of ours, Suze.
The next day we visited Trinity College, the largest of the colleges. This college obviously has many notable alumni, such as Lord Byron, and Isaac Newton. There are many myths and legends about this college, among which the story that Lord Byron and his pet bear used to bathe in the central fountain on the Great Court. Furthermore, Nevile’s Court is where Newton first calculated the speed of sound.
We spent a lot of time browsing through bookshops. The Cambridge University Press has an amazing store in Cambridge with the most epic academic books of all time. It’s hard to walk out of there without having bought something (I managed and my bank account is glad 🙂 ). There is also a pretty massive Waterstone’s in Cambridge where we spent hours browsing the books, sci-fi merchandise, and stationery, before we went to the 2nd floor for some coffee. We had dinner at The Cambridge Brew House, where I had a lovely vegan curry (I’m always surprised when vegan food turns out well). We moved to some other pubs afterwards and ended the evening in the college bar once again.
The next day we met with some of Joris’ friends throughout the weekend. We had a nice lunch at a nunnery where one of his friends lived, which was a lot of fun. There was mulled wine, and some delicious snacks, and then more wine. It was also quite ironic to be making raunchy jokes with christian choir music playing in the background. We also went to a house party organized by one of Joris’ friends. There seems to be quite an active and interesting social scene in Cambridge, which I’m excited to join!
Well, that was my holiday more or less. I hope to blog about something else again soon. You can count on this blog turning back into a travel blog once I’m in Cambridge again, because I hope to discover more about the history of Cambridge’s buildings and to travel the UK a little bit. I can’t wait! 🙂