Monday, 29 November 2010

Cambridge, United Kingdom

I want to go back to school. I never knew there was a town quite like Cambridge. I shouldn't have been an Aggie. Did I just say that out loud? I know, I know. I wouldn't have met my husband, or the favourite girlfriends I mentioned in a previous post, but man, does Cambridge blow College Station out of the water.

Ethan had a fencing tournament in Cambridge in early November and we took the opportunity to have a long weekend away as a family. It was delightful. And delicious. And simply brilliant.

According to Wikipedia, Cambridge is the second oldest university in England (and the English speaking world) and the seventh oldest in the world. It is said that the university was founded by scholars in 1209 after they left Oxford following a debate with the townspeople. Academically, Cambridge ranks as one of the world's top universities and it regularly contends with Oxford for the top of the UK league tables. The University of Cambridge is made up of 31 colleges, each with it's own property and income. They are mostly diverse in their academia but give the students a smaller place to call home.

The college buildings are magnificent and the property breathtaking. The town itself is centered around the colleges and therefore has a youthful vibrancy that is unmatched. Everyone is on foot or bike, going to and fro with a sense of relaxed urgency. The River Cam runs through the town and was once a means of transportation and commercial delivery for the colleges. We highly recommend a guided punting tour along the river where you will see the backs (great expanses of green park land) and many of the college buildings.

Sunday we attended Evening Song at the Kings College Chapel and had the privilege of seeing their famous Boys Choir. It was worship like we'd never known. Again, breathtaking and spectacular.

Overall, it was a weekend to remember. The fencing was fun and challenging for Ethan, with 40 boys in his age group. (In Scotland, he rarely has more than 15 in his age group at competitions) It encouraged him to travel to more events next year and we are hoping that they will be in towns as lovely as Cambridge!

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