It has been crazy here at Cambridge; they seriously keep us busy at all times. If it isn’t studying for lecture or preparing for seminar, then its a plenary lecture, a British cultural activity, or its tea and croquet on the lawns. On top of that, there are all the BYU activities like FHE, Institute, and Church that keep us extra busy too. How some people manage to also take weekend trips to other European countries is a mystery to me.
With so much going on I can only share with you some of my adventures in this post from fear of filling your computer with so much awesome it might explode. I guess I’ll try and do a second installment as I get pictures uploaded and what not.
American Cemetery and Bletchley Park: As part of a class I was taking called Spooks & Spies(a history course on British and American Intelligence Agencies) we took a field trip to some WWII memorials. First was an American Cemetery near Cambridge. It was a really
neat experience to be in England, but not in England; the stars and stripes flew proudly overhead and every grave was an American serviceman (there were probably women too, but not that many). Cemeteries are always rather sad, bu it was especially sad to see so many graves and learn that many were deaths caused from practice exercises gone wrong or poor takes-offs/landings. It was a really solemn experience.
Following the cemetery we went to Bletchley Park — which at the time of WWII was one of the best kept secrets of the war. This is where thousands of people were put together with the sole purpose of decrypting German codes produced by their fabled Enigma machines. Thanks in large part to the efforts at Bletchley, the Allies were able to not only intercept German messages, but send them faulty information, and really provided a much needed edge in the war.
Punting: No, we were not practicing our football kicking — and according to my computer’s built in dictionary that is the second definition anyway — the first definition is what might be called “proper” punting. The best way to explain punting is to compare it to the boats in Venice that are propelled using the long poles, because that is exactly what it is. Those boats are punts. Some friends and I rented King’s College punts on a sunny afternoon, one of the few, and proceeded to teach ourselves the art of punting. With varying degrees of success we made our way down the river; laughing, taking photos, enjoying the scenery, and praying we wouldn’t tip in the Cam. Eventually we realized that our sunny day was getting dark as rain clouds drew closer to Cambridge, so we made our way back up stream. Let me just say that I have more respect for salmon and professional punters than ever before. It is not so easy to go up stream, and despite our best efforts, the rain clouds traveled much faster than we did and it began to drizzle. We moored off to an edge and let the girls with us get off to find shelter while we men punted on, and the rain got heavier. Austin had the idea to pull the punt along the river using the chain attached to the front, but this only worked for a short distance. Needless to say we were soaked by the end of it all, but I had never felt more like a real sailor (though I’m sure I was never further from actually being one).
Well two adventures is all I have time to write about tonight, so I hope that is enough for all you until my second addition of my Cambridge Adventures. Until then, adventure on everyone!!