Illy Discovers the World! travel blog

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

College Views from Bus

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

Henry VIII seal

Henry VIII & Ann Boleyn seal

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College

King's College - Mavis my cool tour guide

King's College

More Colleges

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College - Newton

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College -- Netwon Tree

Trinity College - Newton Tree

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

St John's College

Mathematical Bridge -- Queen's College

The Eagle

The Eagle

The Eagle

The Eagle

The Eagle

The Eagle

The Eagle

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting

Punting


My day in Cambridge started with checking out the Fitzwilliam Museum. The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge and has over half a million incredible artworks in its collection. The collection expands decades and has pieces from all over the world. I really loved the Egyptian section as I had never had a chance to see a real sarcophagus in person before.

From there I hoped on another hop on hop off bus to check out all of Cambridge. It was great seeing all the colleges and even the outer edges of the town. Unfortunately all the colleges are in the middle of exam week and therefore a lot of the colleges were closed to view all the buildings. Some of the colleges allowed you to go in to there chapels and walk the grounds at least. I jumped off at the King's College in hopes of catching a guided tour of its chapel. After briskly walking 6 blocks in 5 minutes, I was excited to hear I hadn't missed the tour.

King's College was founded in 1441 by Henry VI, then continued by Henry VII, and finished in 1544 by Henry VIII. In the chapel there are Henry VIII and Tudor roses everywhere in the place. My tour guide, Mavis, was full of fun little facts and kept our group laughing the whole time. The most unique feature is the initials of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn on the wooden screen that separates the two parts of the church. Henry VIII had it built to celebrate his marriage to Anne Boleyn. Which makes this unique as later Queen Elizabeth I, their daughter, would come to this chapel for service several times and to see her parents initials on the screen. It is also unique because when Henry had Anne beheaded all of their previous marking, seals, initials, etc were removed from the court and his homes. There is one set of initials showing in Hampton Court and this is the only other one still in existence.

I then was excited to meet up with Pricilla, friend I met in Feb in Arizona, to tour the rest of the town. We went to Trinity College next. Trinity College is the largest college in the University and actually the richest with the most land owned (over 5 acres). The college was founded by Henry VIII in 1546. Members of Trinity have won 32 Nobel Prizes out of the 91 total won by members of Cambridge University, the highest number of any college from Cambridge. Some notable people from Trinity are Lord Byron, Ernest Rutherford, and Isaac Newton. In fact the famous apple tree where Newton discovered gravity is out front for you to view. Of course my fan girl was right back out seeing the main college founded by Henry VIII.

The final college we visited was St. John's College. This college was founded in 1511 and has grown into one of the largest in Cambridge. Much of this college is made up of "courts" or quadrangles. In fact there are over 11 courts in the St. John's College.

All of the colleges were so unique and rich with history. Each college has their own library, dorms, chapel, and even bars located in them. Literally the students of these colleges never even have to leave their campus. Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and is formed from these 31 colleges. I can only imagine how the college life in Cambridge must be!

Next we went over to "The Eagle" pub and restaurant. The Eagle is considered the most historic pub in Cambridge because it was where Francis Crick and James Watson announced that they had discovered the structure of DNA. It was over lunch where these two drew up a list of the 20 amino acids to make up DNA. It was also at The Eagle that I finally ate fish and chips for the first time.

After lunch it was off to finish the day with the main attraction in Cambridge -- Punting! A punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use in small rivers or other shallow water. The punter generally propels the punt by pushing against the river bed with a pole. In Henry VIII's reign these boats were used for transporting materials up and down the river. This is the honestly the ONLY way to tour Cambridge. You get to go up and down the River Cams which is right on the back of all of the colleges. It's a spectacular view and tons of fun to do. As the weather was gorgeous today the river was super busy with boats and we had fun going around trying to avoid getting hit. Pricilla even showed me the ropes and allowed me to punt for a bit of the trip. It was such an amazing experience and I will definitely come back one day to do it again. We ended the day with some drinks at another pub where the football (aka soccer) game was happening and it was fun to see all the local people cheering. Tomorrow I head back to London for my final day in England before coming home Monday.



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