Monday, September 8, 2014

The day we almost "punted"

If the question "What the hell is punted?" populates your mind right now, you are just like me a week ago. Actually, that might be kind of a trick question because punted does not exist. But punting does! And I had no idea of what that was until I started making questions about Cambridge.
Punting is basically the art of moving your canoe down a (shallow) river with a long stick. Something that Cambridge inhabitants have been doing for some time. It's a bit like what they do in Venice but without the gondolas and the funny hats.
For me, one of the most curious aspects of punting is the platform where the punter is. As you can see in the picture below, it is a flat piece of wood almost always completely wet. The interesting aspect of it, for me, is how slippery it must get on those really damp days and how I didn't see anyone fall into the river!!

Punting! You can almost see from this who are the pros and who are the newbies
Oh Sole Mio... oh no, wrong boats, wrong city!
Ready to go...

So, we went to Cambridge and one of the things we really wanted to do was try (highlighting the try) some punting ourselves. On our first (of two days) the weather was good and we even got to witness and mock (just a bit) the amateur punters that would not leave the same place imagining ourselves doing exactly the same thing. But then we decided to do it next morning. We would have more time and maybe it would be less busy!
Next morning... it was, indeed, less busy!... But it was also raining non stop! Looking at the weather forecasts, things didn't look promising. So, a bit sad but not defeated we decided to walk our way through Grantchester, a village nearby. That same walk had been advised by a couple of people so we thought it would be a great alternative to punt our way down the river. Under a small umbrella (the two of us) and with a non water proof clothing (me) we launched ourselves to the path that proved to be really worth it. Even with the rain that allowed us to have the path only for ourselves, an occasional runner, an occasional biker, an occasional dog walker and a lot of cows!

Us trying to fit under the umbrella AND take a picture AND do funny faces! Ufff...
The path

The cows...
The river!

But Cambridge is something more than punting and walks by the river. So here are some photos of the rest.

Enjoying a free coffee while the life goes on on the other side

Cambridge and books! This is what came to mind when I heard of Cambridge. Well, this and rowing, of course! 

Bikes bikes bikes... they're everywhere in London and they're definitely everywhere in Cambridge

A (n old) sweet shop that even has candies for the diabetics!

Me and Cambridge
Andre and Cambridge's animals  (of course!)

Part of the Cambridge University  - Kings College entrance
"These lines on the grass were hard work. Please don't destroy our hard work"

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