Concluding with Cambridge and pasties

I thought it was a good idea to conclude my London trip by getting out of London.  Instead of spending 20 pounds to tour the tower of London (which is highly recommended by the Lonely Planet guide), I decided to use that for a round trip ticket to Cambridge.

Half an hour out of London, city gave way to green fields and elegant yet modest-size houses. It turned out that on this Sunday the train was running on reduced schedule, so I had to switch to a bus at Royston. Perfect,  that made up for my lack of double decker bus experience in the city.

Cambridge appeared to be this little sleepy town as I walked by the main church, then things turned lively near the center where all the shopping is. Farmer market was in full swing right next to this century old church.

A steam engine car came by and sounded its horn, just like a real train.

A 6’4 street performer playing guitar out of a litter can. Had to cheer for that.

Oh, here is a weirdly looking but fascinating pendulum clock.

And btw, there are some awesome looking colleges around here, under some big name university, I think.

And a nice museum (Fitzwilliam) to go with.

My biggest find? Pasties. I think the English committed a massive blunder with the marketing campaign for their national foods, fish and chips? Bangers and mash? Please, neither is worthy the tiny crumbs that fall off a hot, tasty pasty. They are like turbo charged calzones with a real dish for the center and croissant like outer shell. I don’t know how to describe it properly not to offend the true value of a pasty.

Anyway, I kept going back to this store to buy more.

During my third trip back, I decided to get two, turkey cranberry and lamb mint. As I was eating off one while clutching the other, I walked through the farmer’s market in search of dessert.  There were several carts full of home-made baked goods. Well, yeah, send me to hell for my gluttony.  I found an open seat outside a “starbucks” near the square. Yup, amidst all the wonderful local coffee shops,( and btw, European coffee is nothing like the US, far more flavors if you ask me), starbucks manages its US image and trying to carve out a corner for itself, mostly amongst expats, I would imagine. I happened to sit at a table with this woman surrounded by grocery bags. I struck up a conversation with her.  Her name is star and she appeared to be a bit cold. So I offered her my lamb mint pasty. She gladly enjoyed it and offered me a Sainsbury lager in return, as she happily washed down her minted lamb while drinking beer with a straw. Our conversation went form casually jovial to weird. She started to complain about the beggars and a few guys near us who love to people watch. Eventually I excused myself , more so because I could go back to get another lamb mint pasty, but also just to get away from her. As I wondered back an hour later, she was still sitting there sipping beer out of her straw, and you guessed it, enjoying herself people watching.

All in all, it was a nice end to a lovely trip, except  for the bloody rain at the end that got me soaked all the way back from Cambridge.

Cheers all, off with London and onward to Zurich.