Happy Memorial Day!!! This morning was sad, because I walked Exmouth Market for the last time and packed up my flat. We got on the charter bus and headed towards Cambridge. The drive was about an hour and we stopped at a rest stop, which was really the nicest stop I’ve ever seen. It was like a little mall with two Starbucks! What?! I wish America had stops even half that nice. Way to go UK. Anyways, our first destination was the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial for a Memorial Day service honoring fallen Americans in World War II. There were some important people there, as well as families of the fallen. It was cold, dreary and windy this morning, but my eyes weren’t watering just because of the cold wind. It was a very moving ceremony. There were American soldiers there who presented the flags and wreaths to honor the fallen. Being away for two weeks has really made me appreciate America, even with its crazy quirks, and this ceremony made my heart burst with pride of country. There was a long wall with statues of soldiers and names of the lost engraved on it. Running parallel to the wall were two rectangle pools of water, with a building at the end that looked like a landmark remembering the soldiers. I thought it was really cool how much we prayed in this ceremony. There were many references to God and they even read John 15:13. My favorite part was when an American representative read a quote that went along the lines of, “Freedom of the press does not come from the media, but from the soldier, sailor and airman. The right to gather does not come from the protest organizer burning the flag, but the soldier, sailor and airman protecting the flag.” There were a few of those, but that really hit home with me. We walked around the burial grounds after the ceremony, which was made up of over 8,000 white crosses. We put flowers at the grave of an Oklahoman and a Texan. After that, we loaded up the bus and drove to Cambridge University.
I went off on my own for a bit. The pub we were eating at was so crowded, so I wanted to wander around so it could clear out. Their version of campus corner merged into a little town and market and really nice shops. I got myself a t-shirt and walked through the beautiful architecture. After that, I went back to the Eagle pub and ate with some friends before shopping and walking around more.
We were supposed to meet with the group to go punting, which is like riding a gondola on the river. Annie and I were with one of our advisors and we ended up going to the wrong meeting spot and missed punting. Instead we chilled in the town a bit and then went back to the bus. We weren’t alone for long, since we were that late to the meeting spot for punting. From there, we had a three hour drive to Manchester. We each have a pair of seats to ourselves so I stretched out a bit, listened to my iPod and dozed off a little.
Our hotel in Manchester is a little bit bigger than our hotel in Paris, but we’re only here for two nights. We dropped our bags and went across the street to have dinner. One thing about western Europe is that it doesn’t get dark until like 10 p.m., so it feels like you’re eating dinner at a normal hour when actually it’s 9 p.m. We got back to the hotel and got ready for bed so that we can get up easily for our tour of Manchester United tomorrow morning! I’m so so so excited for that. We also get to go to the BBC again, which is awesome. It’s going to be a good few days in Manchester!
Walking Cambridge alone and with Annie and Dorion