Tuesday, October 14, 2014

... Wonderful World...

I am brimming with excitement right now. I have so much to talk about..
Let's hope I am able to convey my thoughts in the next 1000 words.

I have been looking for England's wow factor for a while now.
The thing for which you can go back over and over and over again..
The thing which I will talk about with the same admiration 60 years from now as I am doing today.
The thing which I romanticize about.. A surreal experience.

London is vibrant and so are many places here in England but in my opinion that's not enough. I wouldn't call that it's wow factor.
Maybe it's the familiarity that doesn't let me see England's wow factor.
We have all had our share of textbook learning about the british, the stories, the urban legends. We are all somewhat familiar if not well versed with the British culture.

So last weekend with the hope of finding England's wow factor I ended up in Cambridge. Oh boy, I was indeed wowed by the prettiness. It was a good day to be outdoors. I reached there early in the morning and after walking for almost 1.5 miles I reached the city centre.
The legend has it that the Cambridge university had pushed to get the rail station built far outside to keep students away from any distraction (Read London).

On my way to the city center I stumbled on to the great English Martyrs Church. The architecture was just beautiful. I stood there mesmerized.

I had a good hearty breakfast where the cafe owner joined me and told me about all the urban legends and the spooky stories. Gosh, I love travel. He also gave me a fresh muffin from the oven. 45 minutes later stuffed and refreshed I marched on. He asked me to stop by in the evening to have some fresh bread and potato pie.

I reached Kings Chapel and was really intimidated by the grandeur and its magnificence.

I have realized that architecture is my thing. I may not understand it fully but I love buildings, the finery, the sculptures, the forts, the castles, the stones, the texture, the history I love them all.

The local market was set up and the downtown was buzzing with energy. After walking for about 3 kms I decided to take the Hop On/ Hop Off Tour..  It was quite cheap and a good way to travel in the city.

The Round Church. 

I quite enjoyed the round church also. It was built with the intention of showing the continuous circle. Birth -  Death - Resurrection. The buildings have so many stories if only we cared to listen.  There are only four of them left now in England.

I got down at every Hop On/ Hop Off station and enjoyed the scenes. I met an old couple from Whitby and we talked at length about India. They were quite amused to see my comfort level with English.
They couldn't fathom the fact that I was able to understand their "Nasteh English Accent"
"em did nowt accep tha, propah"

It was quite fun hanging out with them. I had my quick lunch with them. One thing that was super impressive was that the couple was extremely concerned about their diet 'cause ya know..!
They settled for a light lunch for the ale that followed afterwards. They guzzled 4 pints in a matter of minutes and were happy high..  I was spooked out at the Eagles Pub while drinking ale with the old couple. It is a 14th century pub famous for its RAF ceiling amongst the other things..which was signed by the RAF pilots from all over the world who returned from the World War-2 and signed their names on the ceiling using only cigarette lighters, candle smoke and lip stick..

We parted ways after enjoying a round of Punting (Something I am horrible at) and marveling at river Cam.   The below picture is of the wooden bridge also called the Mathematical bridge.

Mathematical Bridge

Quayside, River Cam.. Still and Peaceful

I was quite looking forward to visiting the American cemetery which is slightly far from the city center.

I used my Hop On/ Hop off card to get there. It was built to commemorate the American world war soldiers.

The moment I reached there I experienced a chill. The names of the missing soldiers on the wall, 3000+ tombstones all in pure white. It got a little scary for me and I left earlier than what I had originally planned for. I managed to see all the landmark sites, the shopping arcade, the bridges, the pubs - Couldn't have asked for more.
The Beauty is Everywhere
Rich history and even richer traditions - what a combination.  The anglo saxons, Romans, vikings, royals, Scientists, students,  have just made Cambridge full of character.

My time in Cambridge was amazing.  There are so many stories, so many myths, so many traditions, so many quirks, so many phrases which were coined in Cambridge -  Is it really possible to not to find your wow factor there?

I loved my time in Cambridge and after ages I feel like going back to school.
It's been 3-4 days since I visited Cambridge and the feeling is still strong.  I want to sit and study. I want to spend every waking minute thinking about my subjects. I want the pressure of studies. I want to specialize in something. I really do. I want to bitch about the assignments and worry about my exams. I want it all.. I want a degree.. Life I tell ya..!

I clicked so many pictures. I wish I could share it all. I can go back there again and again..

I have been traveling quite a bit and as a matter of fact loving it. The days are numbered here for now but I will keep coming back here over and over again.

I am quite greedy when it comes to travel. I know I can't see everything but I want it.

Hopefully I will be off to a new place again this weekend. There's something that tells me to visit "the other side" - Oxford but then, I am quite keen on going up north this time.
A very nice family from Newcastle has invited me over to their port city for some good brown ale. I must say that I am freakishly tempted.
Lets hope it pans out well. Oh lord, too many places. Always.

Couldn't resist .. Another view of St Martyrs Church
Isn't the architecture just breathtakingly beautiful? The buildings were like poetry.. Beautiful and Full of life..

*I am sure this post needs editing. I will do that over next couple of days.. Too long!*
What a wonderful world..! 


  1. Thanks.. Such a beautiful place and I came back loaded with pic and without any selfies..:)