Some require substantially more, but it’s safe to say that two or three stays at an unfamiliar destination, does leave you with a sense of knowing the place to a reasonable extent. More importantly, it becomes increasingly easier to find your way around, as you become more and more familiar with the intricacies of the public transport system. You end up intrinsically knowing the relation of a city’s prominent building’s or must-see sites to one another and, most importantly, you know where the best boozers are.
I have made umpteen trips to both Munich and Prague, and have visited other European cities such as Barcelona, Cologne, Bruges, Regensburg, and Nuremberg, several times. Each visit I have uncovered something new, as well as re-aquatinting myself with some of the best bits of these locations.
It is on those visits that I intend doing some of the more cultural stuff, that son Mathew was reluctant to participate in. This means, a visit to Kings College Chapel, in order to get a feel of where the Christmas Eve service, of Nine Lessons and Carols is broadcast from. In addition, I shall cross the river Cam to take a wander along the Backs. I might even walk as far as Grantchester and its famous meadows, as immortalised by the Roger Waters/Pink Floyd track of the same name.
It’s worth noting the brief visit I made to Grantchester, several years ago, on one of my many trips up to Norfolk, when my father was still alive. I’d booked an overnight stay at the Red Lion, in the village of Stretham, just to the south of Ely, and had arranged to meet Retired Martin for the first time. That evening Martin and Mrs RM called to collect me, and drove us to Ely, where they showed me around the city and introduced me to a few of its finest pubs.
It’s interesting trying to compare Cambridge with its rival university city, Oxford. I have visited, and stayed in the latter, several times back in my own student days, and would say that without doubt, Oxford too is worthy of a revisit.
So, there we have it, Paul’s perhaps over-thought description of the steps involved in becoming familiar with a new destination, and how the process applied to Cambridge.
Does any of this sound familiar, or am I just making it all up? I’d be interested to know your thoughts.