With having Friday makeup classes, I decided to save some money and go on the day trip the school offered to Cambridge on Saturday.
We left on the bus at 9:00 am and headed to the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial. To be quite honest, I did not even know there was a cemetery near Cambridge, let alone one for American soldiers who perished overseas during World War II.
Upon our arrival, we had the freedom to walk around the premises before going on a guided tour led by one of the cemetery employees. I almost opted to go through the museum and wander around the site at my own pace. In the end, I decided to go with the group and guide and I am glad I did. The woman who led us around the cemetery explained how the cemetery came to fruition, the significance behind the flag pole/church/statues/wall of the missing, and told us some of the soldiers’ stories. In total, there are around 3,800 graves with 24 of those being unknown. There is one Medal of Honor recipient buried at the cemetery too. Our guide also told us that the gravestones are cleaned three times per week, which you could clearly tell up close because the marble sparkled.
I wish we would have had more time at the cemetery because when the tour wrapped up, there was not enough time to go through the museum.
Around 11:00 am, the bus dropped our group off and we went on our merry way to explore Cambridge.
Now, please note that Cambridge itself is split up into different colleges that collectively make up Cambridge University. Additionally, if you want to “tour” any of the colleges, you have to pay an entrance fee (boooo). However, there are museums in the city itself that are run by the universities and entry is free.
First stop, the mathematical bridge. Originally, I did not think I would be able to see this bridge because it is located on university property. However, the bridge we crossed into town happened to have a perfect view of this famous bridge. Score!
After seeing the bridge, my friend Kirby and I headed to one of the nearby Cambridge museums. The one we entered had art mostly, but we went inside to view the Egyptian exhibit. On display were sarcophagi and ancient artifacts.
Once we finished perusing the exhibit, we made our way to the Cambridge markets. There were cute local shops along the way Kirby and I stopped in to have a look around. When we arrived at the market, she and I decided to walk up and down all the aisles to look at the wares and the food being cooked. I purchased a scarf and let me say it was the best 6 pounds I have ever spent.
Kirby and I then made our way to purchase tickets to enter King’s College Chapel. This church is viewed as a “Gothic architectural marvel.” Student tickets were 6 pounds and by buying a ticket, you then have the ability to see a bit of the college grounds as well as the interior of the church.
I cannot even begin to describe to you how beautiful the inside of King’s College Chapel is and like anything, pictures do not do the church justice. Inside the church, there is a museum of sorts which explains how the church was built and which kings ordered what areas to be constructed. The church took so long to build that the stained glass styles differ from window to window depending on the time period of construction. I would not have noticed this had I not gone through the museum.
After spending an hour inside the church, Kirby and I went outside and walked the grounds. We had the opportunity to see the infamous Cambridge punting boats in action. For around 20 pounds, you can rent one with a guide and see the backs of all of the college campuses. If you are feeling adventurous, you can rent your own for a bit less money and see the views for yourself.
Kirby and I really did not have anything else pressing that we wanted to see or do in Cambridge so we continued to wander through shops, an artsty market, and whatever else intrigued us.
Now, an honest review of Cambridge…I would not go back. I felt that the city had nice architecture, shops, and museums. Towards the end of the day, though, Kirby and I were struggling to find things to see and do. In preparation for the trip, I had even looked online to mark attractions on the CityMaps2Go app, so I did not go unprepared. The fact that you also have to pay to see the different universities is silly, but I do recognize that a lot of money is needed to maintain the campuses. Would I recommend Cambridge? No. I think there are other cities in England with more to offer (stay tuned for Lincoln later this week!) However, I highly recommend visiting the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial! I felt the guides there truly loved their job and the site was worthwhile to see and visit. If you wanted to go and see the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, you may as well head into Cambridge. In my opinion, one day is plenty long to see what you would like to see.
See you Tuesday for a recap of Sheffield, England!
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