Our first activity was a punting tour. A punt is a flat-bottomed boat designed for shallow water with a platform on the back for the punter who propels the boat with a pole that pushes against the river bed. It felt a little bit like being on a gondola in Venice. We split into 4 punts, but mine and another kind of joined forces with our punters taking turns giving us commentary and at one point masterfully turning our boats around with the grace of synchronized swimmers.
|Cambridge's Bridge of Sighs|
The main sights on the tour were the various college buildings that make up the University of Cambridge. They were all very impressive and beautiful.
After our punting tour, we had a walking tour of the city primarily focusing on science related history since this student group are pre-med, biology, and forensic science students.
Bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for many of the residents in Cambridge, as most of the students are prohibited from having cars in order to reduce congestion in the city. You see bicycles everywhere!
Christ College, where Charles Darwin studied.
After our walking tour, we headed back to the bus. Originally we were supposed to have a few hours to explore the city, but several of the students had scheduled early evening flights to Paris for their 2 day break and their professors were scared that if there was traffic from the FA Cup finals or other delays that they wouldn't make it. I was a bit disappointed because the city is beautiful, but luckily I will be heading back there this Thursday with another group (hence the title of Cambridge, part 1).
In the evening, I went to dinner at the Kentish Town branch of Wahaca which is a chain of "Mexican street food" restaurants. I was quite suspicious of it when I first saw it, a) because all the Mexican and Tex-Mex food I have had in Europe has been disappointing and b) they spelled it Wahaca rather than Oaxaca, so how authentic could it be? But, one of my colleagues here who lived in Texas for 5 years assured me that it was good and said the reason for the spelling is because it is owned by the same people who run Wagamama's, an Asian food chain.
I was pleasantly surprised with the burn-your-mouth chipotle salsa and everything tasted good. They even have dishes with nopales.
The receipt came with what appeared to be a match book at first glance, but it was actually seeds to grow chili peppers! Cute!