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Cambridge - a seat of learning

The full cooked English breakfast was most welcome the next morning, as I'd not had any dinner the previous night. Then it didn't take long to pack and be on my way, for parts unknown. The necessary first stop was to buy a SIM card for my phone, and to set up internet access. Good old Maccas to the rescue again! I also parked the bike and wandered through the town of Brentwood, eventually finding my way to a map shop, as I really like to look at the overall picture, rather than just what's showing on the GPS screen.

Standing perusing the range of maps on display, I was astounded when a voice just behind me says "Do you own the Suzuki parked up on the road?" The bike was about 250 metres away, around a corner!

I turned to be confronted by an older gentleman, and said "Er, well, yes, I do own a Suzuki..." wondering what I'd done wrong, as it was in a defined motorcycle parking area.

"Oh, I've just been taking photos of it. Look.. " as he showed me the photos on his phone. So we then chatted about bikes in general, my trip plans, and his older bikes for some time. It's these little personal encounters which often make the day, when one is travelling.

My shopping duties fulfilled, I set off for a pleasant little ride to the Cambridge area, dodging the wild pheasants darting helter skelter across the road before me, to a village called Comberton, to camp at the Highfield Farm Touring Park, a wonderful park in rural surroundings, actually part of a working farm.

I declared the next day to be a rest day, as it was so relaxing and peaceful here at the farm, with the birds calling, twittering and cheeping in the trees and hedges around my camp. Unfortunately, a branch overhung the rear vestibule of the tent, and a big fat pigeon decided that he'd sit up there, coo-ing away madly - and leaving his calling cards all over my tent! When one wants it to rain .... it doesn't.

Housekeeping done, I set off on the "Farm walk" of about 3kms around the edge of the farm, soaking in the glorious views of the surrounding countryside, across the fields of lush, green, young corn.

Across the blossoming fields of canola, to Cambridge.

A walk into the village in the hopes that the internet at the village pub [The Three Horseshoes] would ease the addiction. Shame it didn't work at all! Oh well, I partook of a lovely "Seniors" rate lunch of roast beef and yorkshire pud while there. It's rather fun being over 60 now, and getting all the Seniors savings at little pubs and other places.

It so happened that there was a rally of Roma motorhomes underway at the park over the weekend. These are tiny little 4 cylinder motorhomes, in various styles. I thought this little one was SOOO cute!

And another one, a HiLo version, with a small pop-top roof.

Then it was time for a visit to the famous seat of learning - Cambridge University. Some lovely flowers I saw along the way into the village.

Another walk back to the village to catch the bus - a double decker, on which I sat up the front on the top floor, for a birds' eye view. It's a rather scary perspective, sitting so high above the traffic, not being able to see the traffic properly, waiting for the bus to hit something as it swings so wide around all the myriad of corners as we pass through little villages on the 4 mile journey to the city.

A wonderful thatched roof, in the village of Grantchester, and the narrowest of roads to negotiate.

Wonderful parks and gardens abound through the city, this one beside the bus station.

The market in the city square, above, and delightful winding streets, below

The

Kings College Chapel, in part profile. Kings College was founded by King Henry VI in 1441.

The layout of the university campuses and the city.

Kings College Chapel, above, and the entrance to Kings College, below.

Unfortunately, as it was exam time, all the colleges were closed to visitors, so only the exteriors were available for photos.

St Catherine's College, above, and Corpus Christi College, the two photos below

Bicycles - they are everywhere! Squillions of them, going in all directions, dodging in and out of the dense pedestrian traffic of tourists and students, ridden by the whole range of persons of all ages and ethnicities, parked along buildings and railings, securely locked down with large chains.

The Fitzwilliam Museum, above and below

"Care for a punt on the River Cam, madam?" Nope, not today, thanks!!

The Mathematical Bridge, crossing the River Cam, joining the two sections of Queens College. This bridge was originally built in 1749 without using any bolts, although I did notice there are some bolts used now, surely an indictment on our litigious society!

Queens College, above and below, was founded in 1448 by King Henry VI's wife, Margaret of Anjou.

Above: Trinity College, left, founded in 1546 by Henry VIII, and St John's College, right

Above: Magdalene College was founded in 1542.

Delightful alleyways, leading who knows where?

The Round Church has the oldest nave in the country.

Below: Christ's College

It had been a long day of walking, so I relished the top front seat again on the bus going back to the village and then the walk to the campground at Comberton. Tomorrow, it was pack up and move on, heading for Scotland.

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All content is (c) copyright 2007-2009 to ridingtoextremes.com (unless stated otherwise) and can not be used without prior permission