That was a dumb title, I know.
But hey, those are just a staple at this point at L’ensemble du jour. What is a blog post without a stupid, kind-of-but-mostly-not clever title?
By day 7, Amanda and I were growing tired of London. Its newness had worn off, and we were running out of neighborhoods and boroughs we wanted to see. Sue offered to take us out to see Windsor, but the admission prices were sort-of steep, and we are poor college kids who are only here in London by some rather lucky circumstances. Thus, we decided to take our Oyster cards and take a little day trip out to Cambridge.
You’ll notice I said “take our Oyster cards out to Cambridge,” and if you’re a London local, you’ll know that doesn’t work – Oyster cards only work on zones 1-9 throughout the Greater London area. But we are not London locals, and we did not know that wouldn’t work, so we wound up an hour and a half later at a platform in Cambridge with no way to swipe out to get into the actual town.
We had two options at that point – take the train out to the closest station where our Oyster card would allow us to swipe out, so we could buy tickets (which happened to be Broxbourne, the station we began at – and the station that I just mentioned was an hour and a half away) or find a railway worker, admit our mistake, and pay the penalty fee.
We opted for the former.
We hopped back on the Liverpool St train and prepared ourselves for a very long, very sad journey all the way back to Broxbourne. Thankfully, as luck, or perhaps God, would have it, we didn’t have to go all the way back to Broxbourne – the first stop the Liverpool train made was this little town called Shelford, which had a ticket dispenser machine right there on the platform.
In the end, it was probably only a 30 minute detour, but it felt much, much longer. It some ways, it was a happy mistake though – by using our Oyster cards to swipe out at Broxbourne, riding the train to Shelford, and then buying tickets for a ride from Shelford to Cambridge, we only had to pay about three pounds for the whole journey rather than the twenty-something it would have cost to ride from Broxbourne to Cambridge.
Finally in Cambridge, we were in desperate need of some refreshment, so we stopped in a Caffè Nero, the English equivalent of Starbucks. We got some well-deserved coffee, charged our phones, and rested up a bit before embarking on the 30 minute trek all the way out to central Cambridge.
Cambridge was a really beautiful town. It wasn’t exactly a small countryside village, but it almost felt like it; it was so different from the bustle of London. People were riding their bikes everywhere, the roads were uneven cobblestone, and I kept getting weird glances from the much more conservatively dressed locals because I was wearing a crop top.
We had wanted to go punting tour on the river in Cambridge, but unfortunately, we missed out on the final tour of the day due to some big group that was coming in later in the day. It was a bit disappointing, not being able to take this one actual guided tour we’d scheduled, but we still got to see the town and the school, so it was okay. We walked around some more, stopped in a pub where I got bangers and mash (very, very good by the way – but very, very heavy), and then got a rather overpriced Uber back to the station.
That’s it for today! I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Skirt: Street vendor in New York