The Choir Trip to England
A Choir Trip to England: Saturday, July 11
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By Bonnie and Larry Arnold

Punts on the River Cam

It was back to the coaches this morning for a day trip to the university town of Cambridge. It's a charming town with even narrower streets than London has. School was out when we were there, and the tourists were wall-to-wall. The lawns along the River Cam and in college courts are immaculate and nobody is allowed to step on them. We got politely yelled at. The river features punts, small boats moved by standing up and poling.

The Crew, learning about Cambridge on a walking tour

We had more of the Blue Badge guides, for a walking tour this time. They told us about the history of the area and the university. Although they tried to explain the relationship between Cambridge University and the 31 colleges that make it up -- separate but linked somehow -- we still don't understand it. Apparently it is unique even for England. Altogether the university is considered large with 15,000 students. There was no time to see the modern part of the university or the town. We found a sandwich shop for lunch, and found that their sandwiches were much more generous than what we could expect at home. We also spent time threading our way through an open market, which had stalls for everything from very used books to very fresh fish. Larry indulged us with two British chocolate bars, something like a cross between our Milky Way and Snickers, with no nuts.

We find the Gate to Kings College, with a statue of Henry VIII

Back at the London hotel we got a culture, or more appropriately climate shock. The clothes we had rinsed out the night before, which would have dried in fifteen minutes back home, were still dripping.

Unfortunately, we needed to pack, as we would leave the Kennedy the next morning. We debated the methods available, and decided on coins and the nearest local "launderette" at 1 per wash load and 20p. per dryer. Following directions provided with the change by the polite, if amused hotel staff, we walked through our first London drizzle to find it. It had closed half hour earlier.

The trip was not wasted, however. We found the Queen's Head, a neighborhood pub, and ordered supper. Four vegetables, thick bread and real butter accompanied large slices of smoked ham. The hot tea was more than welcome.

Back in our room we used the hotel hair dryer, heated towel rack and iron to solve our problem.

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© 1996 Larry and Bonnie Arnold, updated September 26, 1998