As we kickoff another week in England, we have by no means slackened the Paris pace that kept us trotting along from national monument to macaron shop and back again. According to my trusty Fitbit, my average steps per day is up to 20k. This is not boasting; I move slower than the average British senior citizen when it comes to huffing it through the city.
We started the week with a day trip to my favorite old stomping-ground.
We also got to go punting, and activity that involves sitting on a boat placidly while a bloke pushes you down the river Cam and talks about the history of all the colleges as you pass them. Hands-down favorite from the day. The punters all have stories to tell about the famous shenanigans of the colleges’ histories. For example, our punter talked about the knight climbers, a secret society at Trinity College below. One famous prank from the society involved placing a traffic cone on top of one of the two top spires of the building below. Once the college had almost completed building on the scaffold they had to erect to remove the cone, they awoke one morning to find it was gone- and moved to the other spire.
The thing I love about Cambridge is the mix of ancient college town and grassy meadows. The pitch for punting is that those on tours get to see the “backs,” or all the colleges that edge up to the river bank. So many of the colleges under the Cambridge University umbrella are neighbors and it’s especially interesting to see structures that date back to the 1500s sharing ivy vines with computer-designed buildings from the 1960s and later.
This puts a different spin on conservation because it shows how a space has to accommodate for new growth and add to its culture to keep it alive- changing to stay the same in a way.
That’s all for now! More to come tomorrow on the more technical side of sustainability and some really good chocolate.