Cambridge, We’ve Got Bridges….

Finally, a photo together on the Clare Bridge

Finally, a photo together on the Clare Bridge, oldest in Cambridge (1640)

We spent 2 1/2 days or so sightseeing in Cambridge.  The Clare Bridge is said to be the oldest and one of the most scenic.  There is a piece missing from one of the spheres…they propose that the artist did it to protest his poor pay.

New friend, Ann East, and Kim posing next to the artistic expression.

New friend, Ann East, and Kim posing next to the artistic expression.

Reed’s friend Malcolm East and his wife Ann currently live north of Cambridge with their nearly 10 month old son.  They were able to meet us in Cambridge for a day and a half.  Kim and Ann became fast Facebook friends when Eliot was born, and Reed had not seen Malcolm for 23 years. Gotta love Facebook or this meeting might not have occurred!  Here, we approach THE icon of Cambridge, Kings College.

The stately college, built in 1441 is known for the elaborate Chapel.

The stunning college, built in 1441 is known for the elaborate Chapel.

It is so hard to capture the full beauty of this structure.

It is so hard to capture the full beauty of this structure.

'Old' friends with so much in common...

‘Old’ friends with so much in common…here inside of Kings College

Stepping inside of Kings College, truly impressive.

Stepping inside of Kings College, truly impressive.

Walking next to Kings College Chapel

Walking next to Kings College Chapel

A lovely walk is “The Backs” along the River Cam that takes you along the back of various colleges for some incredible views.  Most colleges are closed, or you may pay to enter, so it is nice to get some free views!

Kings College, as seen from The Backs.

Kings College, as seen from The Backs.

A nice walk along "The Backs" allows incredible views of the different colleges.

closer up, can’t get enough of Kings College Chapel

Cambridge is known for it’s quaint bridges and thank God for that since the only thing Eliot gets more excited about is tunnels.  So, I will share a short snippet of our bridge experience for his sake.

Quick view from the Clare Bridge, may be Garrett Hostel bridge?

Quick view from the Clare Bridge, may be Garrett Hostel bridge?

And for my engineering friends and family:

The Mathmatical Bridge in Queen's College is ....

The Mathematical Bridge in Queen’s College is a puzzle in that it is wooden and self-supporting.  It is made from straight boards, yet forms an arc from a series of tangents with radial members to tie them together.

Okay, I could go on, but let’s move on to the Colleges of Cambridge.  Much to our surprise, you will not find one campus named “The University of Cambridge.”  Even thought it is 2nd oldest university in the English speaking world and the 3rd oldest surviving university (approximately 1209).   Instead, the student population is approx 18,000 and the town is made up of approximately 31 different Colleges all with their own admissions criteria etc.   Here, some pics of popular tourist stops:

St John's College

St John’s College- Main Gate, (1516) decor is the Arms of the Foundress.

“The College Arms are flanked by curious creatures known as yales, mythical beasts with elephants’ tails, antelopes’ bodies, goats’ heads, and swivelling horns” (downloaded from wikipedia 2013).  Try explaining that one to a 2 1/2 yr old!

Yales. got it.

Yales. got it.

St Johns gate

St Johns gate, with the Chapel emerging behind

Inside of St Johns.  Kinda reminds me of Dead Poet's Society?

Inside of St Johns. Kinda reminds me of Dead Poet’s Society x 1000.

More of St Johns

More of St Johns

St Catherines College

St Catherines College

After hangin’ with these friends for the afternoon, we grabbed grub at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant.  Turns out he is more than a trendy new chef, he is very much looked up to here and his restaurant was awesome.  He believes in healthy kids menu food.

Inside Jamie Oliver's restaurant, Cambridge

Inside Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, Cambridge.  Reasonably priced and kid friendly!

Eliot's "kids meal.'

Eliot’s “kids meal.”

The temps may have made it a cold week, but you can't beat seeing a friend after 23 yrs!

The temps may have made it a cold week, but you can’t beat seeing a friend after 23 yrs! For context, Malcolm was 5th at Boston in 1981 in 2:11. Reed was another 21 minutes back and didn’t meet Malcolm till that next fall, then they trained together for 5 more years, until life took them separate ways.

The green grass may make it appear spring-like, but don’t be fooled.  I think we missed the warm weather by about a week.  Still, we are so glad we got to experience Cambridge and to meet up with friends!

Next up, museums, but now, off to sleep for these tired parents,

ciao,

Kim and Reed

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