Keep off the grass!

Tuesday August 30, Cambridge

My cousin was very sweet and understanding when we told her we were going to move to a hotel. Fortunately there was a Holiday Inn express five minutes from her house, along a pedestrian-only path that ran past an idyllic lake and field of bunnies. And, oddly, a military training course with a barbed wire fence–and bunnies.

My cousin is, I believe, a fellow (?) at Cambridge. I’m not sure if that is the right term. She does research and teaches. She’s got an office and a lab. And because of that we got extra special access to everything!

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My cousin could eat three meals a day for free in this insane Hogwart’s style dining hall!

I’ll probably explain this all wrong, but from what I understand Cambridge is made up of separate colleges. Students apply to a certain college, regardless of major. Sounds almost like getting into a sorority. You live at the college and get lots of support from it, but your major is made up of people from all different colleges. My cousin belongs to King’s College.

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All the colleges (that I saw) are collections of pretty, gothic-looking buildings, very ornate. King’s College is particularly attractive. Tourists aren’t allowed in so we felt very special. Also, only staff can walk across the lawn! She took us across but it felt wrong. It was so perfectly groomed.

The river Cam runs behind the buildings–fenced off to keep out “geese” according to the guard, aka the riffraff punting on the river. I’d have liked to take a boat out–the college has its own boats–but my cousin said she was not good at it.

My cousin’s office, where she does her teaching, has an amazing view and a fireplace. Her lab is in a modern building adjacent to the botanical gardens.

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Downtown Cambridge is a mix of old and new–the new not particularly interesting (e.g. the mall) but the place feels vibrant and not trapped in the past.

R wasn’t feeling well so I had a good dinner at a pub with my cousin and her girlfriend, then made the long trek back to the hotel.

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