My Life As A Long Lost Prince (Sort Of)

Chapel across Jesus Green

Cambridge, England is a marvelous and lovely place. So far, I have learned that there is no such thing as “Cambridge University,” that officially incorporates the city. Instead, there are about 30 colleges in the city, similar to how there are numerous colleges throughout Boston. Unlike Boston, however, these colleges get clumped together and, as a result, are collectively called “Cambridge University.” King’s College is by far the most famous and well-known college in Cambridge. It dominates the city with it’s vast stone cathedral and open campus. I am currently attending Gonville and Caius (pronounced “keys”) College, which is right next to King’s College. Additionally, each college has a bell tower, so at each quarter hour, they all go off at once. It’s quite wonderful to hear as you’re strolling the city or studying outside.

The city is filled with winding streets with many different kinds of interesting people. There are a plethora of shops, cafés, restaurants, and the like to visit and explore. Most of the colleges in the city are also open to the public throughout the day. Albeit not like standard “American” collegiate campuses, these institutions use their outermost walls to gate off, secure, and exclude those who are not privileged to attend (hence why they are open throughout the day for people to visit). Think of a standard 2 x 2 square. That’s what Gonville and Caius is like, anyway. Each outside line of the square, including the “+” inside, is the interior of a building, or an outer wall of a building depending on where you are standing. Each open “square” is a courtyard filled with lush, green grass, beautiful flowers, and sometimes, trees that are probably older than the United States’ founding.

Interesting customs in Cambridge include one absolutely NOT being able to walk on the grass. The British take exceptional pride to make sure everything on the grounds looks kept and beautiful. If you’re a fellow, or a professor, you are more than welcome to walk across the courtyard grass. If not, then you must use the appropriate cobblestone walkways that boarder the squared lawns. The grass is absolutely beautiful. It never has to worry about drying out, since it is watered daily by the infamous rain that plagues the Island of Great Britain at random intervals throughout the day. It has beautifully checkered stripes that are made by caretakers who mow the lawns in an artfully distinct, and carefully pristine manner. There are numerous large parks throughout the city with grass that you can walk, lay, and play games on. Of these, one I have actually been to. It is called “Jesus Green” as it is adjacent to Jesus College. It’s a beautiful park that sits alongside the meandering “Cam” River. There are enormous trees that must be hundreds of years old with lush, dark green foliage. On the banks of the river, there are many ducks that come up to you expecting to be fed – it’s quite cute! Many college students come there to relax, play, and stroll about. It’s a grand and peaceful place for contemplation and leisure.

The “Great Hall” (where we eat breakfast and dinner) kind of looks like the Great Hall in Hogwarts, except it’s 1/4th the scale. (Speaking of “Great Halls,” I learned that the one in Harry Potter is actually modeled after the Banquet Hall of Oxford University!) There are beautiful stained glass windows that adorn each wall, along with great paintings of famous scholars who studied specifically at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge. Of these individuals, Stephen Hawking is included among the portraits. There are three long and narrow wooden tables where we are served three course meals at dinner, vaulted ceilings, butler-styled waiters, and unlimited amounts of coffee and tea – very fancy!

Now, for the best part: my bedroom. My bedroom is absolutely magnificent, minus the fact that I am the only person living on my floor (which is lonely and a bit frightening at night), and do not have a shower on my floor (I have to go down a flight of stairs; I do, however, have a toilet on my floor and a sink in my room which is very convenient), and have no WiFi. My room, located on the fourth floor of “S” tower in Tree Court, is almost the size of my living room and kitchen combined in my house in Manchester. A stone, spiral staircase is the only way to access my room, which houses beautifully stained glass windows, and a hollow tower at the top. It’s exquisite, and I feel like some sort of long lost prince. My room contains a bed, closet, desk, two chairs, and many shelves on the walls. I also have two very tall windows that look onto the stone rooftops and chimneys throughout the city. One window in particular allows me to see a gargoyle that overlooks the city street below. The bed is very comfortable, and it gets made by porters daily where my sink is cleaned and my sheets and towels are changed. It’s hard sleeping, since students are out at pubs late at night and talk very loudly; it doesn’t help that sound carries very easily through stoned buildings. Loud trucks pass my window at the wee hours of the morning, so it can be difficult to get a good night’s rest.

Unfortunately, blog posts will be limited, due to the overbearing workload that I currently face right now. I am only going to be updating on important things I do or see, such as going to London, Paris… etc. I may have another post on Cambridge, but for right now, I have covered everything that I want to talk about at this point in time.

I hope all is well – I am missing the beautiful weather that is currently present in the New England region. Enjoy it!

For now, I bid good day!


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