As week four came around, my friends and I quickly started realizing that, what once seemed like a never ending adventure, was now coming to an end and our lives back in reality was right around the corner. Therefore, we agreed that despite all the homework and assignments we had to focus on for completing our courses that week, we were going to do as much as we can and enjoy our final moments in Cambridge to the fullest.
1. The Cambridge Botanic Gardens
On our last weekend, without a doubt the hottest weekend in the midst of the European heatwave, we wanted to visit the legendary Cambridge Botanic Gardens. Truthfully, I had visited the USF Botanic Gardens before and I wasn’t that impressed because I was expecting more luscious flowers or exotic plants, rather than greenery and lots of trees. Therefore, I wasn’t that impressed and my expectations for the gardens were not very high, but I knew my friends wanted to experience it so I went along. My favorite part about the gardens was the fact that they actually offered ice for the free water (which is VERY uncommon outside the United States). The grounds were very extensive with a green house, many hidden walking paths, ponds, and more, but overall it wasn’t my cup of tea. If you are interested in reading and looking at different vegetations, then this is the place for you.
2. The Bridge of Sighs
One of the last things we wanted to find in Cambridge was the Bridge of Sighs. We had heard about it, we’d seen pictures, but we hadn’t seen it in person. Thankfully for google maps, we followed Siri’s directions which led us to tieback gate of St. John’s college where we realized the only way to walk over the Bridge of Sighs was to go in the college as it connects two of the buildings. When we stumbled upon the large iron gate we thought there’s no way through, until we saw a mother and daughter reach their hand behind the gate, lift the latch, and nonchalantly walk through. We felt quite foolish after standing there for a few moments thinking we were stumped by this gate. Walking through the campus felt surreal as you’re surrounded by the ancient architecture and history. When we found the bridge, we soon realized that we had seen this bridge already on the first day we arrived on our punting adventure. We went right under it! But we hadn’t realized exactly what we were seeing. The Bridge of Sighs was built in 1831 and was a favorite spot to visit by Queen Victoria.
3. Nights out with Friends
As stated before, we wanted to make the most of every moment we had left so that meant enjoying time with the friends we had made along the way. Every night, after devoting some time to homework and packing, we made our way over to our newfound gem, The Regal. They had reasonably priced food and beverage combos which worked for our college budget and a fun atmosphere. Many of our friends from the program liked to hang out here as well so it was fun to reconnect as a group. On our last Thursday night, the coaches of our program had arranged a traditional pub style dinner for us at the Free Press, a famous, old, pub right around the corner from our house. All of our mentor-teachers from our interning school were invited as well, unfortunately mine could not attend because she coaches signing lessons on Thursdays. We enjoyed traditional English appetizers (including Scotch Eggs which many people steered clear of, but I actually enjoyed them), fish and chips for dinner, and warm brownie sundaes. We also put together a choreographed dance in the middle of the street which may appear in someone’s vlog of the trip one day, so keep your eyes peeled!
And just like that, our time in Cambridge has come to an end! I can’t wait to return in the future to relive all the memories I have made in my short time here. It is safe to say I have learned a lot, as an individual and as future educator, as well as have made incredible live long friends that I can most definitely bring home to Tampa with me. 🙂