After an incredibly unique and slightly terrifying Uber experience where I had to check my Google Maps to ensure we weren’t going to be kidnapped (maybe I’m a little dramatic but this driver was CRAZY), we made our way to Kings Cross for our train to Cambridge, where we planned to stay with Jessie’s grandparents for the rest of the week! I was so excited to meet her sweet family. I had no idea what to expect of them but when we got off the train in Cambridge and Jessie ran to hug her grandma who was standing there waiting for us, I just about lost it. I will admit I teared up because Jessie hadn’t seen her grandparents in about five years! It was the sweetest reunion!
When we finally all stopped crying, we caught the bus back to their apartment! After catching up, Jessie’s grandpa (who I want to adopt as my own) took us into town before it got dark to show us around. Jessie’s grandpa is a history buff and literally knows everything about Cambridge so it was really fun to walk around some of the colleges with him narrating. The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 and is home to 31 different small colleges in town, which is the main attraction there. They’re all absolutely stunning and look like something from Harry Potter. I felt like I had gone back in time walking the streets and roaming the campuses. Jessie’s grandpa also started what is called the Round Church. It’s the second oldest structure in Cambridge, built in 1130 and he started the organization that got services and tours running there. The night we went, they had reindeer out front. REINDEER! Best welcome to Cambridge I could have ever dreamed of. Haha!
The next day was really fun because we spent it with Jessie’s aunt and cousins! I absolutely loved that I got such a realistic experience of the life in England by being around people who live there. We went out to their beautiful home, had lunch, and talked about life, their schooling, and everything in between. Then Jessie’s aunt took us into town and we had a drink at the Eagle, which is the pub where Watson & Crick announced they discovered DNA. SO COOL. Apparently the napkin is on the wall with their drawing of the double helix but I didn’t know that until we left. Whoops!
Our third day we spent in a town called St. Ives, with Jessie’s grandma. It’s her favorite town and a place she escapes to have tea and go for walks. By the way, tea is not a joke in England. They drink it all day long, every day and you will be offered tea every hour if you stay with locals. It’s the best thing ever. But anyway, our little trip to St. Ives was something really special for Jessie’s grandma, getting to share a part of her life with Jessie, so although we didn’t do much there, I had fun watching Jessie’s grandma light up showing her different places she goes! I did get to try a millionaire bar in St. Ives though and that was life-changing.
Our last day was my absolute favorite because we really got to explore town! It had rained pretty much all week but we got the most perfect, sunny day in Cambridge!! 🙂 We started the morning with coffee at a fun shop called the Espresso Library, got a little tour with Jessie’s grandpa, where he got us into a lot of the colleges, which you normally have to pay to see, and then we met up with Jessie’s sweet cousin and her new baby. We explored a couple more of the colleges, churches, and coffeeshops, and then Jessie and I went on a punt on the River Cam! That was fun because there were people from all over the world on our punt and we got to see a lot of the schools from the water.
My absolute favorite thing that we did all week, though, was probably going to an Evensong at King’s College and listening to the little angels boys sing. I had no idea what an Evensong was but it’s like a mixture of church and a choir concert. The King’s College choir is world renowned and people sleep outside the day before Christmas Eve to hear them on Christmas Eve. I wasn’t allowed to photograph or video during it but just imagine candlelight in one of the world’s largest chapels with about thirty or forty teen boys singing the most gorgeous hymns you’ve ever heard. AHHH. Incredible.
So there you have it — this is our week in Cambridge!! If you missed my blog post from London, view that here! Iceland is up next — get ready!