Friday, 3 June 2011

Punting on the Cam is jolly fun they say

For people of a certain age and musical inclination, the title of this blog may ring a bell or two. On the Tuesday, I may well have been without a garden party invitation but I was in Cambridge and perfectly placed to find out if punting was indeed jolly fun. Don't for a minute think that I wandered down to the river Cam and hired a punt and did it myself - I had my camera with me, my mobile phone wouldn't work after being wet and a return bus ticket to Haverhill which I'm sure would suffer badly from a dip in the water. There are several companies offering punt trips on the Cam, with a practiced person, usually a student earning a few drinking vouchers, who is unlikely to tip you over the side and offering an excellent running commentary of the sights to be seen, so for a very modest sum I found myself comfortably seated at the back of a punt.



This is the back of Trinity Hall College which was founded in 1350 to replace lawers killed by the black death. This building of their's is the Jerwood library which is very recent, being built in 1999, and certainly more attractive than most of the other modern buildings along the river.


Clare College


This bridge is the mathematical bridge. There is a local legend that says that the bridge was designed by Sir Issac Newton and was held up by pure science without the assistance of pins or nail. Good story but quite untrue, when it was built by James Essex (designed by William Etheridge) in 1749, Issac Newton had been dead for 22 years. It was also quite securely pinned together. Being made of wood, it doesn't last forever - this is the third version of the bridge built in 1904.


This is the Bridge of Sighs - named after it's namesake in Venice. It actually bears virtually no resemblance to the Venice Bridge of Sighs other than the fact it is enclosed - this would appear to be enough though. You could call it a neo-gothic covered walkway with traceried openings but, if Queen Victoria described it as "so pretty and picturesque", then that is good enough for me.


I think this is the back of  St. John's college.


This is definately St. John's college. the hole in the wall is for catching swans. The fellows of this college are legally allowed to eat unmarked mute swans - the only people to be allowed to do so outside the royal family.



This is the Wren library which I visited just before my wee spin on the river. They have a small display out of illuminated books and early printing, as well as some examples of correspondance from Newton, Faraday and several other prominant people. But for me it was a delight to see A.A.Milne's handwritten manuscript for Winnie the Pooh.




It was jolly fun.

13 comments:

Light-In-A-Box said...

Punting, no I have not heard of that phrase. I of course have seen on the TV beautiful river journeys but was not aware that the flat boats pushed a long with a pole were called punts! Looks like a very peaceful experiance! Our rivers here are way to swift for such ventures. Here it's white water rafting or white knuckle!
I guess we do have a few slower parts & tributaries though...

Shundo said...

Oh boy, so much wonderful stuff here, though as an Oxford man I feel honour-bound to point out that Cambridge people punt from the wrong end of the boat (though frankly, it is the more sensible end). Norhing like a stately punt around a beautiful city, especially when you throw in Isaac Newton and Winne the Pooh - you didn't say anything about playing poohsticks though.
And I belive that traditional Japanese joinery tends not to require nails or pins, though I wouldn't claim to be an exeprt on that.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I enjoyed the tour. Always like seeing another part of the world from the comfort of my overstuffed chair in my study. Eating Swan? Who would even think? Probably tastes like chicken, no?

The Glebe Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Glebe Blog said...

In all my years in exile Sandy,I passed through Cambridge once.So thank you for the tour,very enjoyable.

Michael (Light-In-A-Box)has it right in his last sentence,you can hire a rowing boat at Jasper.

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Thought it was about time I got in on this tour! Very kind of you to pop Wolfie in along with the cam' :) Never been to Cambridge so great trip thanks and you got some lovely shots while you were there. Have a lovely weekend :)

Chip "Rocket Man" Allen said...

Enjoyed the tour, as usual, Sandy but you had me a bit confused for a bit. A punt is a type of kick in American football and Cambridge is in Massachusetts. My first thought was "You can't get away with that in the outskirts of Boston. This is where Sandy get's tossed in jail!"

Denise said...

That all looks like a lot of fun and you saw some beautiful sights along the way. Thanks for sharing them.

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you all for your comments - excuse my rather lightening reply here as there are things needing done - but I'm definately not in jail in Massachusetts

Sandi said...

At last! Blogger is working for me (I have had so many problems with this site, going round in circles when trying to log in! Grrr!)

Anyway, back to Cambridge, and what a lovely day you had! I've never been there, but I'd love to visit.

Did you find any nice little pubs for a wee pint and bite to eat???

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Probably just as well you didn't hire a punt and do it yourself lol you might not have been here to blog the tale! and your poor innocent hard done-by mobile might not have been the only one wet! Cool bridges..."Bridge of Sighs" is a title that captures the imagination :)

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Probably just as well you didn't hire a punt and do it yourself lol you might not have been here to blog the tale! and your poor innocent hard done-by mobile might not have been the only one wet! Cool bridges..."Bridge of Sighs" is a title that captures the imagination :)

Sandy's witterings said...

Hi Sandi - I didn't find my pint here and I had hoped to too. As I did most of this trip motoring, pints don't feature much but I went into cambridge on the bus - I just ran out of day.

Wolfie - a dip in the Cam would certainly have done for the electronics but it doesn't seem very deep so I would have survived to tell the tale I suspect (though without pictures)