The closest city to home is Cambridge, and this year the university celebrates it's 800th birthday. Founded when students were thrown out of Oxford in 1209. Seventy five years later in 1284, the first college, Peterhouse, was founded by the Bishop of Ely, for the safety and peace of his monks. It's still there. It's newest college is Robinson, founded in 1979, and though architecturally modern, still beautiful for that. It seems strange that so many things are touched by the university, without people realising. Felixstowe port, is on ground owned by Trinity, a little restaurant in Kings Lynn is in the vaults which once held wine owned by Caius. Along with the graduates who passed through it's collective portals. As diverse as Charles Darwin, William Wordsworth, Peter Cook and Sacha Baron Cohen
Tonight a light show starts as part of the celebrations, some of the artwork coming from Quentin Blake...who read English at Downing College, and a Ringing in the Year.
For anyone interested here are some of the links...
800 Year Celebrations
On a personal note...I had a friend who gained a place at one of the colleges, but just before she was supposed to leave, her mother became very ill...so she stayed at home to nurse her. After her mother regained her health, she'd decided to become a nurse. She lived in South Wales, and this was the mid 1930's. So, she came to London and began her nursing studies at the Mile End Hospital...she met someone and they married, but she continued her nursing through the Blitz and the war...and anyone who knows that part of history knows how tough that was.
I didn't meet her until she was in her seventies, I'm sorry about that...she was one of the nicest, interesting and most intelligent people I've ever met. Totally selfishly, I'm kind of glad she didn't get to Cambridge...I wouldn't have met her then, and shared a brilliant friendship. Sometime I might tell some of her stories...like how she knew Cliff Richard...when he was Henry Webb...and knew Lord Steptoe when he was a boy.
And if you want a great day of shopping, or a few days visiting...it has enough to keep you occupied, from small independent boutique style shops to large retailers. Museums...art galleries...restaurants...in all, it's a beautiful city...just be cyclists aware! ;)