I only wished I had video taped the next part of my visit.
Behold the young gentlemen, outstanding students at one of, if not THE, finest institution in the world, providing entertainment at the highest level. From the land of scholars, scientists, discoverers and, yes, entertainers......
In deference to their mothers, I've only posted the photos showing them modestly covered (unless you count the dress with the ripped back).
Up on Magdalene Bridge the antics, laughing, and singing (Pirates of Penzance?) of these young scholars had attracted quite a crowd, while down on the river the members of other colleges were doing their best to completely ignore them.
Not only did the young gentleman in the front have a hard time keeping his shorts up, but his mustache was also hanging by a thread.
They finally made it under Madeline Bridge, while up above we were taking bets on whether or not their pole was going to pierce one of the glass windows on the right.
I may be wrong, but I don't think you are supposed to tack a punt like you do a sailboat. However, a swig or two of beer should set things to rights.
I must say, they really knew how to work the crowd and were a jovial bunch of sots. No doubt, they were thrilled to have the term over with.
Once headed on their way, they received a loud ovation from the crowd of onlookers up on the bridge.
I really wanted to visit St. John's College and the famous neo-gothic Bridge of Sighs, so I followed a priest...
and then a little boy...
paid a small fee and entered the first St. John's courtyard.
St. John's College was founded in 1511, and is the third largest at Cambridge. The buildings were designed by George Gilbert Scott in 1859. Former members include Wordsworth, Wilberforce, and Douglas Adams.
What a beautiful place! I came to see the Bridge, but got so much more. Even though I have lots of photos of the college to post I've left many more out. It was stunningly beautiful.
Fabulous report of a beautiful place which has made me even more determined to go back one day and see much more. The photos of the buildings are all just so good, that pic of the staircase is just wonderful and the punting pics are great fun.
I think the white flowered tree which you described as similar to dogwood may be a variety of viburnum, a doublefile which is why the flower looks dissimilar to perhaps more common types - Viburnum plicatum mariesii
I have enjoyed this report so much. It brought back memories of my youth when I was invited to several May Balls Cambridge reminds me in many ways, of my town Winchester but although we have many streams and the river Itchen, it is not navigable apart from one or two stretches in the Water Meadows.
Post by patricklondon on Aug 19, 2013 16:40:29 GMT
What does one do when one loses one's pole? Did everyone in the punt paddle backwards with hands? Or does someone have to dive in and fetch it?
You do the best you can. In the Backs, chances are that someone else will be around and can pick the pole up and bring it over to you. Once beyond the lock and out towards Grantchester (where the bottom is also muddier, so there's more chance of it sticking, too), things might be a bit more problematic. It never happened to me (that I recall, but of course) but I should think "everybody paddle!" is at least the first port of call.
King's, as it happens (and no, I don't sing, but I was lucky enough to be kind of on the edges of the social group around some of the choral scholars and musicians, which was a great education in itself). Some of my contemporaries have become quite well-known in different fields, at least in the UK - a couple of musicians, a writer or two, a couple of bank bosses (boo), plenty of academics respected in their own fields, but (oddly, perhaps, considering this was the late 60s) no politicians of note.
But, great experience as it was, I'm not sure I was best suited to it, or not at that age, so I've never felt much of a pull to go back.
Thanks for that information, Patrick. Even as someone who still lives in their university town, I can understand not having a desire to return.
University life always felt like a parallel universe to me, especially when I was attending graduate school. There's a freedom to explore and theorize while at the same time being isolated from the reality of the "real" world. I will occasionally read something I had published in a juried journal over 20 years ago, and all I can think now is "what a load of crap!"
Though I am sure faculty and students must become very weary of visitors clogging Cambridge streets in the summertime, I absolutely loved my visit there. I'd like to return and spend a few more days exploring, but would prefer dry weather for the next visit.
Post by patricklondon on Aug 22, 2013 11:18:26 GMT
University life always felt like a parallel universe to me
Well yes - and I tend to think "It's someone else's turn now, you can't go back". There were a couple of teachers in my secondary school who had been there as pupils and went back to teach; I always thought that was a bit sad, though it can suit some people's personalities.
all I can think now is "what a load of crap!"
I once turned up some folders full of essays and notes from my university time, and quite honestly, at times, I barely understood what I had been trying to say!
Many of us feel we could've made better use of our University years. Heck, we could've been somebody.
I really have become convinced over the years that there should be an obligatory gap year between the end of secondary school and the beginning of university studies. Of course there would have to be all sorts of rules such as "you are not allowed to continue living in your parents' home during that time."
Not everyone can afford to go travelling for a year, or to leave his/parents' house. And given how difficult it is to find work for young people, especially since they are qualified for nothing after high school, I don't think that is such a good idea. At least, it certainly shouldn't be obligatory.