Sunday 20 July 2014

London Day 8: Cambridge

After an insanely long day yesterday, we were going to take it slow today. To get a break from the city, we travelled to the university town of Cambridge via the national rail from Kings Cross Station to Cambridge Station. The journey was slightly more than an hour long, so get comfortable and sleep if you can =)

Cambridge Station
Home of many colleges

I checked the map when we exited the station and thought that the place that we had wanted to go (where we could go punting down the river) was not too far (how very wrong I was!), so we decided to walk there (worst decision ever!).

Sat down on one of the benches to feed Baby Boy

We walked for almost 30 minutes and realised that we were lost. I had no idea where we were and when we tried to ask for directions, 1 out of 2 persons we spoke to were also tourists visiting Cambridge! I suppose it's because it was the summer and the students (who probably made up the bulk of the residents of Cambridge) were back home for vacation.

At one of the maps, where you can see that we are nowhere close to a body of water!

Finally, a woman we spoke to was a local and was able to direct us. Sadly, she directed us to the wrong direction and we ended up walking one big round! =(

Walking up this way does NOT lead you to the river! *sigh*
The walk was lovely though, if we were not lost =(

When we were finally too tired to walk anymore, we tried to flag a cab to send us there. However, there was a big walkathon event happening that morning and many of the roads were closed so the cab could not send us there! "You'll have to walk," the cab driver told us. Talk about bad luck! =S

My mum wanted to return home at one point because we were going nowhere but I was determined to get to the river (I'm stubborn like that! When I want something, I never give up! *laughs*). We walked and walked and walked until finally, we saw the river!

Here at last!

Scudamore's Punting Company
Tourists gathering to board the punts
Punts are flat-bottom boats with square-cut bow meant for use in small rivers and shallow waters

You can choose to go with public tours or self-hire (which as the name suggests, requires you to row the punt yourself). It's a no-brainer which one we chose.. self-hire! I'm kidding, obviously not!

After I purchased the tickets, which cost GBP17.50 (adult) and GBP16 (senior) for me and my mum respectively (it's cheaper if you pre-book online), we had to wait for about 20 minutes for our turn as there was a crowd of tourists wanting to do the same.

Punting down the river
(Public Tour)
Baby Boy was not amused and kinda freaked out
(Plus it was his nap time)
The Mathematical Bridge,
Constructed with wood and held together by Physics rather than nails!
(They later added nails to it because people with itchy fingers started to mess around with the structure trying to see if superglue was used)
Punters rowing and explaining the history of the colleges
(although no one was really listening except for maybe me)
Ducks happily swimming by, so close that you can almost touch them
Self-hire punter on the left, public tour punter on the right

The whole journey took approximately 40 minutes and was quite a nice experience for us! I'm glad we didn't miss this =)

We took a cab back to the train station this time, having learnt our lesson that this was faster and less tiring! We bought some food from the Marks and Spencer at Cambridge Station and ate our late lunch on the train. It was quite a comfortable journey back to London and we slept the whole way, including Baby Boy (he slept comfortably on his stroller).

When we arrived at King's Cross Station, it was already quite late. We tried to find somewhere to do some last minute shopping but couldn't find any since most of the shops close at 5pm on Sundays.

King's Cross Station
Clockwise from left: Exterior of King's Cross Station;
Gates to the Platforms; King's Cross Square

If you're a Harry Potter fan, you'll recall that Harry and his friends boarded the Hogwarts Express at a mysterious Platform 9 and 3/4 at King's Cross Station?

Well thanks to the Harry Potter shop, the mysterious platform is recreated (sort of)!

Hodes of people queuing to take photos with a half embedded luggage trolley at Platform 9 and 3/4

I wished I had time to join the queue but as the queue snaked all the way to the back, we decided against it (boo). The Harry Potter shop was also closing so I didn't get to shop there either (double boo!).

I did, however, get to eat Lola's Cupcakes, which was recommended by my colleague for tasty cupcakes.

Lola's Handcrafted Cupcakes
Small stall so limited choices
Can't remember which flavour we chose but it was good!

We enjoyed our cupcakes and dinner from Wasabi in the comfort of our hotel room. Can't believe our adventure in London was going to end!

Continue to >> London Day 9: Final Shopping & My Reflections
<< Back to London Day 7: Trafalgar Square, Kensington Palace & Covent Garden


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