Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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Aaron wanted a Day In, so Sheena took me to Cambridge for a wander about.

We stopped briefly at the American cemetary at Maddingly, where almost all the US servicemen of WW2 who died in the UK are buried.

We wandered around the centre of Cambridge, wend into St Johns College, crossed the river Cam on the Bridge Of Sighs and would have laid in fields of green under dreaming spires if it weren't so bloody cold. We wandered around increasingly tiny streets and alleys, dodging the students in their college scarves and blazers, and taking photos like a maniac. I seem to be the only tourist left who uses an SLR camera. Everyone else I saw used tiny digital cameras, or their phones. I felt conspicuous.

We ended up in the market, and after a quick map consultation we headed for the Fitzwilliam museum. Which was closed. So we headed for the museum of archeology and anthropology which is open every day. Except Monday. So we headed for the Scrivener museum of geology. Fossils! Racks and racks and racks of fossils! Dinosaurs! Anomites, belemites and trilobites! And a room full of minerals. I didn't see any wollemi pine fossils. I should buy a tree and donate it to them. We had a brief Aagh! moment when we came across a reconstruction of a prehistoric spider beside its fossil. We were moving along the cases: racks of fossils, racks of fossils, racks of fossils, HUGE HAIRY SPIDER! The body was a good 12 inches long. Aagh. Luckily Aaron wasn't with us or he'd run screaming from the Museum. Our descriptions of it over dinner had him twitching.

From there we found the Whipple Museum Of Scientific History. It's a little hard to find, since it's on one floor of the College Of Physical Engineering. All these museums are collections belonging to a college, and people still use them for study. To get to the Whipple museum we had to walk past lecture rooms full of students and up the stairs. The museum is full of old equipment, microscopes, telescopes, sextants, astrolabes, things of brass, glass and wood, painted model plants used in Biology lessons, painted model bodies used for anatomy, and a case full of the intruments of Phrenology. Up one end in a glass case was a curious pile of cogs and drums. It was a piece of a Charles Babbage Difference Engine. I hope my photo turns out. There is also an excellent orrary showing all six planets.

And then it was time to go home. We wandered backto the pay-and-ride bus-stop, pausing on the way to look at the round curch which was built some time near 1130. And then back to Offord Darcy.

Today was the last day of holiday. Tomorrow we'll be heading off on a Virgin Atlantic Airbus from Terminal 3 at Heathrow. 23 hours later we'll land in Sydney on Thurday. I'll wave as I pass over London.

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