"Every street seems to be the entrance to a whole new world"https://www.flickr.com/photos/punting/14196807787

When one thinks of Cambridge, the first images that usually pop to mind are views of King’s Parade or Trinity Street, along with some old buildings and cosy streets. This is certainly what I thought Cambridge was before coming here for the first time, and little did I know that it was actually much more than that.

“It felt like all the places I had been to were isolated pieces of a large jigsaw I had not yet put together”

So all thanks to lockdown, as all the shops are closed, I had to find another ‘hobby’ which is not shopping. One thing’s for sure – walking aimlessly around town just for the sake of walking was not the first thing that came to my mind. Yet, as I was starting to think I knew my way around Cambridge, I also realised that my geographical knowledge of it was pretty limited and that I had barely ventured beyond the city centre. It felt like all the places I had been to were isolated pieces of a large jigsaw I had not yet put together. For instance, it took me a while to realize that Midsummer Common and Jesus Green are very close to the Grafton Centre.

So I decided to go out of my way to get to know Cambridge more, and the more I walked, the more I realised how little I know, as every street seems to be the entrance to a whole new world. If Grantchester Meadows has and always will be one of my favourite walks around Cambridge, so many others are also worth a try. I discovered some of them randomly, but found out about others in travel guides. One of the most memorable walks I went on was from Jesus Green and the Victoria Avenue Bridge to beyond Chesterton Recreation Ground. There, I discovered what happens to be the oldest building in Cambridge, called ‘Chesterton Towers’, which dates back to the 14th century. Just a bit further on, Old Manor House dates from the 1700s, while Chesterton House was built in the late 18th century.

If the boundaries between town and countryside seem unbelievingly blurred in Cambridge, those of time periods are just as hazy. The harmonious juxtaposition of different time periods never fails to amaze me, and I feel like I’m in some time machine whenever walking around town. Another area which I really enjoyed walking around is near the Fort St George Footbridge. There is something strikingly coastal about it, what with the University boathouses and the picturesque houses scattered around the riverbank. ‘Ferry Path’, on which you can see many quaint cottages from the 1840s, is a lovely path that directly leads to the river bank. It happens to be the place where people would embark on a ferry to cross the river before the Victoria Bridge was built.

“I was miles and miles away from my comfort zone, which was just spellbinding”

Sometimes, as often in life, the ‘wrong’ choices bring us to the ‘right’ places : I had once planned to go to Fen Ditton, but ended up getting willingly lost, as every street seemed impossibly appealing to me (meaning I never made it to my planned destination). I still ended up, however, around the magnificent Stourbridge Common. I was miles and miles away from my comfort zone, which was just spellbinding. Similarly, I cannot describe how enthralled I was when I found myself at the peaceful Midsummer Community Orchard, which happens to face the aforementioned Fort St George Footbridge. It is all the more striking as the Orchard seems to be so far from the madding crowd and yet happens to be on busy Newmarket Road.


Mountain View

AskVulture: Re-entering Education

Some places in Cambridge have caught me completely off guard: for instance, I had absolutely no idea that there were chalk pits in Cambridge. Unfortunately, I did not get to see them as they are closed until further notice – so imagine how disappointed I was having walked about an hour and a half to get there. However, as always, I realised that in Cambridge it is not so much the destination that matters, but the path itself, as wherever you plan to go, you can be sure to experience the loveliest journey.

Here is one last wonder I cannot help but share, as it struck me as being the cutest and most unexpected thing I have seen in Cambridge so far, which is none other than a Winnie-the-Pooh weather van on Haymarket Road. If The University of Cambridge is internationally well known, I feel like Cambridge, as a town, still hides many secret places. How sad and unfortunate would it be to leave them unexplored, I am sure that Winnie-the-Pooh cannot wait to meet you!