Carrying on from last week’s post about a drizzly weekend in Cambridge with Travelodge, I’m going to share a few photos about our punting trip on the River Cam.
I always enjoy exploring places from water, Tom wasn’t particularly keen but I wore him down in the end.
There are a few punting companies in Cambridge, and plenty of students walking around selling tickets at different prices, however you can haggle with them easily and they will match the price the Tourist Office give.
We booked our tickets and met outside King’s College just before 11am. A guide took us from there down to the boat, and we got chatting to her about her home country (Italy), what she thought of life over here in comparison to Italy, and her studies.
At the boat, we met our guide, hopped on, and set off down the River Cam. Our guide told us about the history of the buildings we passed, traditions, and interesting stories.
We punted (Sailed? Drove?) past a few garden parties. I’m guessing students were celebrating the end of the year. We also saw lots of students who looked worse for wear and couldn’t figure out if they’d got incredibly drunk very quickly, or were still drunk from the night before.
My favourite story was one that involved Lord Byron and a bear. The poet went to Trinity College in 1805 and tried to take his dog, but was told that dogs and other “domesticated pets” were forbidden. The dog went, and Byron came back with a bear.
No where in the college’s rules did it say bears were not allowed, so the bear stayed. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t delight people as the bear apparently tried to have a little gnaw on a few people.
The bridge in the photo above, is called Mathematical Bridge. The story is that when it was originally built, there were no nuts or bolts. Careful planning meant that it held together all by itself. It was also alleged that Sir Isaac Newton built it, which was impressive given that he had been dead for 22 years when the bridge was built.
Apparently, students then took the bridge apart to figure out how it worked but couldn’t put it back together without the use of nuts or bolts, which is supposedly why the bridge now has nuts and bolts.
It’s all untrue, as it was designed by William Etheridge and built by James Essex, and it did contain some kind of nuts and bolts when it was built in 1749.
While I’m sharing interesting facts with you, there is no bridge in Cambridge called Cam Bridge.
That’s it, I’m all facted out.
Have you ever been punting?