It was a sunny and bright Sunday with endless, clear, blue skies. At ten in the morning, on the 24th of September, the boarders and staff got on a coach to spend the day in Cambridge.
The journey lasted an hour and a half but it felt shorter because my friends and I were chatting, listening to music, singing, and some of us were even sleeping. When we got there, we walked a shortwhile and then sat down to have a little snack. There was a small shop selling souvenirs next to where we were. The owner of the shop listened to us speaking Spanish and he started talking in Spanish with us too!
The friendly shop keeper said that he visited Barcelona a couple of years ago and there he learnt a lot of Spanish words. He did not speak fluently, but we could understand him without making much effort. He told us that he remembered a very famous restaurant in Barcelona, but he could not remember its name. We thought he had a luxury and unique restaurant on his mind, but suddenly he recalled the name, and it was a restaurant called Cien Montaditos. This restaurant is known for being very speedy and cheap and there is a network of almost 400 of these restaurants around Spain. We were amused because the man liked the restaurant for having cheap beer.
Soon afterwards, we got on the famous punts on the River Cam which flows through town. We divided into three groups, about ten people per punt, and each group had a tour guide explaining things about Cambridge, the different universities and places that were along the river bank. I really liked this part of the day, the experience of seeing universities in a very original way.
After punting for about an hour some of us were starving, so we started on the sandwiches that the school provided for us. Then we met two tourist guides, who divided us into two groups for a walking street tour. The guide for my group was a man in his fifties, who was carrying a hiking rucksack and he seemed very professional and very prepared to walk for a long time.
He started talking about Cambridge’s students and how one can apply and get accepted to such a prestigious university. He showed us some pictures of students who had graduated with excellent marks. He also explained to us how challenging the work is at Cambridge. Terms are shorter and there are a lot of exams, so basically, students spend three hard and stressful years studying every single day. But all hard work pays off in the end, right?
The guide spoke about the town’s history, and that Cambridge University is second most ancient university in the world after Oxford. Its colleges have been working since 1209. He also told us that a lot of their documents were lost because monks were the ones in charge of writing and copying things, but during the Black Death, a lot of them died, and all the rest of people did not know how to write or barely even read.
After the walking tour, we had some free time, so I went with my friends, María and Daurio, all around town. Although they were a little expensive, we bought some jumpers at the university’s gift shop because we wanted to have a memory of the trip. Then, we walked around streets what were very cute, small, and uncrowded. We also checked out a street market in the square that had many different stores with souvenirs, clothes and food for sale. There was even a Spanish food stand, and we talked to the man who was running it. He was selling croquetas, tortillas, cocido, churros, and many typical Spanish dishes that looked delicious.
In the last few hours of free time, we went to the shopping centre, bought random things and just walked around. Before we had to head back, we decided to grab a couple of coffees at Starbucks, and surprisingly, the girl who was attending to us, was Spanish too! The girl had been studying in England for a year, and on weekends, she worked at Starbucks to earn some money.
As our trip was coming to an end, we went back to the bus. I was upset that the trip was over because I wanted to have more free time to relax with my friends and explore the beautiful city. However, I did have a lot of fun doing all the exciting things on the trip. It turned out that we met a lot of Spanish people in Cambridge. On the ride back home, almost all of us slept because we were tired from all the walking. All in all, we had a great time and a memorable trip.
Text: Susana, year 10x