London and Harlow are awesome, but when I was given the chance to explore more of England, I jumped at it. My friend’s mom has a friend who lives in the UK, and was going to take my friend and some of her friends out to see Cambridge and Ely (and yes, I could have made that more complicated, trust me). She invited me and two others, but the others declined. I, however, was like ‘yesyesyesyesyes!’
So he picked up J and I, and we drove to Cambridge (which is famous for being nothing but universities, or something like that). We stopped for a tea break (one of many – I love the English) at a student cafe. The cafe was awesome in that it had a challenge. If you wanted you could request a trivia question: get the question right and you do not have to pay, but get the question wrong and you have to pay twice the amount. Awesome. (Sadly, I doubt that I could find that cafe again if I spent a month in Cambridge).
We walked around Cambridge, admiring the river and talking about the students who dress up as gondoliers and row people up and down the river.
We crossed over the Bridge of Sighs We would have crossed over the Bridge of Sighs if it was open to non-students, and since we were not students we totally didn’t cross it.
I marvelled at how people couldn’t walk on the grass (although the grass was very well-kept), at the super fancy-ness of the college dining halls, and all the architecture. There were so many colleges to look at, a drum group playing near a church, the amazing voices of the King’s College Choir, and an amazing street market to wander through.
I debated dropping out of MUN and enrolling in any college in Cambridge, just so I could live there for a few months.
From there we went on to Ely, which is pretty much famous because of the Cathedral, which is really pretty, really old, and has a beautiful octogonal tower. It also substituted as Westminster Abbey in the movie “The King’s Speech”.
J’s mom’s friend was a restoration worker, so he knew all about the building (and had worked on it). He was, honestly, the best tour guide. We wandered all over the cathedral, listened to some of a sermon that was going on, listened to the choir, and then stopped for a tea break again.
After which, we went to a pub for a pint, then to an Indian restaurant called Spice City (which I keep thinking of as Spice World, thank you Spice Girls for that…). It was my first time eating Indian food and it was an awesome ending to an awesome day. As we drove back to Harlow, the moon was so full that I almost felt like I could reach out and touch it.
It was great to get out and around for a bit, but also to get out and around with someone who knew where we were going and what we’d be doing. Never underestimate the awesomeness of friends (or friends of friends) acting as tour guides. And when a friend asks if you want to go on an adventure, never understimate the value of a good ‘yesyesyesyesyes!’