Cambridge delivers

Cambridge. One goes in with some expectations:

Old, serious college buildings. Grizzle-hair professors tooling around on bicycles, preferably in tweed jackets, pipe dangling from the corner of the mouth. Men in cricket-whites ambling on green grassy pitches.

One is not to be disappointed.

I arrived here for a job interview. The first of several that I’m doing now that I’m considering growing up and returning to the respectable life. I flew in from Zagreb, and was promptly set up in the Double Tree hotel, top floor, with a balcony looking over a park. Having come from many weeks of hostel living, this is not a bad situation:

The view from my room.
More view. Not too shabby.

After settling in, I quickly toddled off to my interview, which lasted up until dinner time, at which point we went to the local chop house for steaks and British ales, then out to a “members only” cocktail bar until midnight, which then necessitated each of us finding our respective ways back in the dark through a bit of an alcohol haze. All in all a successful interview process I think.

So the following day I wanted to walk around and see what sort of place this actually was. First off, there are a large number of bikes in the city, as can be attested by the gathering at the train station:

Cambridge apparently thinks it is Amsterdam
Bikes as far as the eyes can see.

In contrast to Amsterdam, however, there are quite a few less sex shops and marijuana houses in Cambridge. In fact, I dare say the thought of setting up either of these in stately Cambridge would be met with a great deal of huffing and garrumphing at whomever had the impropriety to suggest such a thing. I mean really. This is a place of learning, people.

So, the town proper is as one would expect:

This is what you expect when you come to Cambridge. You will not be disappointed.
Seems to be one of these around every corner.
This is the kind of school building that demands to be taken seriously.
Stately. Important. Impressive. And other such adjectives.
I don’t think you go into these gates planning to give freshmen wedgies or making fart jokes.
Town tower, with the clock set to the appropriate time.
Serious building is serious.

There are, however, some surprises to be had! For example, walking into the town square, there is a market selling all sorts of wearables, comestibles, and readables.

An open air market in the town square? How positively pedestrian!

In addition, there were even some buskers (two young girls belting out some rather respectable “roaring 20’s” era songs). I looked, but saw nobody scowling or looking down their noses at such boisterous behavior.

Moving on through the parks, which are lovely, I ran across a lady painting the scenery which seemed almost too perfect; I suspect she was planted there.

Painting in the afternoon on a lovely sunny walk. Too quaint. I think she was hired to pose like this.

Further on, you will discover that tooling around the river / canal in boats (punts?) is a big thing, though this is done by stabbing a long pole into the depths to push yourself along.

Boats steered by long poles? Is this Venice?

So I ambled through the parks trying to take it all in. It really is a marvelous town for doing exactly this sort of behavior.

More beautiful than expected.
Serious housing. With serious grounds.
The sign on the side proclaims it’s age. Hint: it’s old.
Parks and greenery abound.

And then, walking through one of the parks, I happened upon cows. A group of cows, just kind of taking in the shade. Not restricted by fences or pens or anything, just free to roam the park.

Random town cows.

I wonder if dogs come by and harass them from time to time? I’ve honestly never seen a city center park that has a herd of cows living there, but it seems a great idea; they couldn’t be more docile, and they thrive on precisely the type of place a park is intended to be. Well done, Cambridge. The entrance and exits to the park have cattle guards, but why would they leave? They have everything they want right there, and it will be very difficult for a butcher to get proper access to them there.

So: Cambridge. Lovely town. Very calm and peaceful. Also: very, very WHITE. Like: it’s a white bread sandwich, only where the bologna and mayo is supposed to go, they just put another slice of white bread. The only non-white people I saw while walking around were obvious tourists (large cameras, travel in packs, pointing at things) or students (young Asian kids with backpacks). So perhaps diversity in Cambridge is not really a thing, yet?

Regardless: beautiful. One could do a lot worse than setting up living quarters there. And since the interview went very well, I suppose I now have that as one option. Let’s see how the next ones go.

6 thoughts on “Cambridge delivers

  1. Glad to hear your interview went well. Mark and I spent a day in Cambridge when we went to England in May. The punt tour was one of our favorite parts of our trip. Glad you had some time to explore there…seemed like a great place.

    1. I hear the punts are hard to steer. Did you cheat and hire someone to do it for you? Or are you (or Mark) mighty and took the pole to experience a proper British excursion?

      Either way: yep, fabulous place.

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