Thursday, December 28, 2017

The English Countryside

The itch to travel got stronger as the Christmas and the New Year approached. A trip to explore the beauty of the English countryside was planned and set rolling. Landing at the Heathrow on the Christmas Eve meant facing a long immigration queue with only a few officials around as the country was in a festive mood! Notwithstanding , the efficiency of the personnel ensured that within an hour of landing we were out of the airport. The entire train system was non operational and as I had known this before hand, I had booked by the National Express bus service for a three hour drive to the
Cambridge. The bus left at the precise time and soon we were floating past the countryside in the cosy comfort when the temperature outside was 3 deg C. The festive spirit was all evident minus the boisterous celebration I am used to witness in the capital.

The accommodation was just perfect as after a bout of a very early morning indulgence in eating, we slept off! Next day the city celebrated the Christmas as every market , eating joint and the transport system observed a holiday. The cold weather was not a dampener to explore the city of a sprawling university, assimilating the grandeur of the likes of King's , Queen's, Trinity, Pembroke , St Johns, Judge Business School and many more that have produced the largest number of Nobel laureates to date. The serene flowing Cam river and swaying Fem trees with sighting of ducks and an occasional cow in the meadows adds to the beauty of the city. This is one place where umpteen lessons can be drawn on how to preserve the old heritage without a clutter and the cobbled streets with virtually no traffic of any vehicles.

While punting on the Cam river, a number of colleges on one side and seven bridges linking the Backs( meadows by the river flanked by colleges on the other end) is like a dream come true. The bridges like the Mathematical bridge, the Bridge of Sighs enamour the tourists with their architectural beauty and vintage. The Corpus Christi clock was installed by Stephen Dawkins.

Cambridge is a perfect place with a number of theatres, and pubs which are always full. This is a city of cyclists and the cycling tracks are perhaps the best way to go around.

There are several places that can be discovered in the vicinity . It was a treat to take a 20 minute train ride to the sleepy town of Ely, best known for the remarkable Roman Catholic cathedral. As we set out of the station we were caught in the snow with strong winds. It was like reliving the stories read in the childhood about the snow blizzards! How lucky to experience one! The opeluence of the cathedral was beyond imagination.It took us more than an hour to explore the place and learn about how it went through the turbulent times of various wars. The history of Christ is beautifully depicted on the high glass panels and intricate carvings in the cathedral .
As we emerged out of the cathedral We saw the most unusual sight of a number of ducks crossing the road while the traffic stood still till they crossed over. Coming from a city where the vehicles are waiting to mow down the poor pedestrians , this was a very pleasant surprise.
The river side has a lovely place called the Peacocks Tea Room, which has one of the finest assortment of tea, coffee, scones and cakes! There could be no better way to end the day by relishing these rare treats.

PS : will continue the journey in the next post.


  1. Beautifully written travelogue about a British town. I had been to some other small town over there and I could imagine how your town looked like. Less no. of people, lot of space...less no.of vehicles is another plus point. Yes, I loved the tea over there than the coffee. Must go there in winter next time to 'feel' the cold. Loved the way you have explained about the place. Waiting to read the second part!

  2. I'm enjoying the tour. Now off to the next part, I go...;)

    1. A big thanks for taking time off to read my posts, Divya:)