How to be a Cambridge tourist this weekend
A weekend of punting and Chelsea buns
We all spend so much time with work and deadlines that we forget that we are in one of the most attractive cities in the country. This weekend you need to put those deadlines on the back burner (or just leave them there a little longer) and become a Cambridge tourist. Here’s a list of all the things you need to try.
A pretty obvious and iconic Cambridge activity, but definitely essential if you want to make the most of your touristy weekend. Despite its renown for being a Cambridge icon, you will feel thousands of miles away from Cambridge on a gondola ride through Venice.
Although instead of being serenaded with a romantic rendition of Italian love songs, you’re left with a repeat soundtrack of punt guides telling you how King’s chapel was built upside down and several lies about the complexity of the Mathematical Bridge. Sometimes you just need to take what you can get.
Being surrounded by a body of water definitely makes you feel at ease; putting your life in the hands of someone else is a refreshing change, knowing perfectly well you can never steer your life in the right direction.
But first, lemme take a selfie
One thing about Cambridge tourists is how they like to take photos of literally everything. We have all experienced the large crowds of tourists who think it’s a good idea to take pictures of Cambridge bins and lampposts, so much so that you need to factor in an extra 5 minutes to your journey to Sidgwick. Hitting rush hour on King’s Bridge is the worst.
But now it’s your turn to follow their example – get yourself a disposable camera and record some Cambridge memories. It might be nice to have some pretty photos so you don’t just remember your university experience as that snake-infested disaster zone you just had to put up with.
Besides, pretending to be a fascinated tourist is certainly a better option than being a student who knows what ugliness really lies behind Cambridge’s beautiful facades. Being hated for getting in people’s way is much better than the deep self-loathing caused by your immense levels of incompetence.
Food glorious food
For too long have you been simply putting up with whatever you can make in a substandard gyp room. Like a Cambridge version of Russian roulette, you never quite know whether your next meal will also be your last. Sure you can spice it up a bit peri-peri style with a trip to Nando’s every once in a while, but you really need to get out there and sample some of Cambridge’s best cafés. Gardies definitely does not count.
Sampling a Chelsea bun from Fitzbillies or a selection of cannolicchi from Aromi is a definite must when being a Cambridge tourist. (No sponsor, but donations always welcome…)
When you’re having a serious hangover after Friday Life, don’t just suffer in silence in your room; take a trip to Tatties and try the best jacket potatoes this side of the Watford Gap. The famous Tatties ‘Full Monty’ definitely goes a long way in quelling any alcohol-induced suffering.
Visiting other colleges
One of the downsides of having a collegiate system at Cambridge is becoming too embroiled in your own college’s drama that you forget that there’s a whole university outside your college gates. Too many of us only ever leave college to take that painful journey to Sidgwick which is eerily reminiscent to walking the Green Mile.
If you were a sensible applicant you would have probably visited a lot of the colleges when you came for an open day, but there are still more to be explored in typical tourist fashion. When the most you’ve seen of other colleges is because of early morning walks of shame, you know you need to get out more.
Explore Trinity and immediately feel inferior, or take a trip to Corpus Christi for a self-esteem boost. Heck, even make an effort and take a journey up the hill to Girton. You’ll probably arrive at sunset, making the views stunning and definitely worth the trek.
Studying at one of the best universities in the world is definitely something to be proud of. But don’t forget to actually appreciate your surroundings and realise that you are also in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. If you can’t beat the crowds of tourists, join them.