In early morning hours we kicked the day off with a full English breakfast with eggs, bacon, beans, sausage, virtually everything you would wish for breakfast. After everyone had enjoyed breakfast, we left for the University of Cambridge, all suited up.
At the University we had to search a little bit for the Electrical Engineering building, but when we arrived we were welcomed nicely. After a short word of welcome and coffee and tea, we had some time to look around in the canteen at some posters about their research. Some of these posters flabbergasted us. After that, we got a few presentations about the University and the research that is being conducted at the Engineering building, CAPE. They even told us what the stones at the front of the building were about, they were supposed to be art and placed there because of every government grant for building, at least 1 percent of the budget needs to be spent on art.
After the presentations it was time to have a look at the actual research. The way the research at the University of Cambridge is conducted seemed quite familiar, it reminded of our own working environment in Eindhoven. Empty bottles of shampoo, cables with notes on them: “black” and “white magic”, post-it notes saying: “Do not read this”, little pieces of stripped wire and litter everywhere. But nevertheless, the research struck us as quite interesting and leading in the fields. After the tour we headed back to the presentation room, where a lunch was served. This lunch even surpassed the previous lunch.
When we came back at the bus after the excursion, the bus driver was watching the ‘Big Bang Theory’ again, but he paused it quickly and drove us back to the hostel. We changed clothes and went to the bike rental. We split up in 5 groups and every group explored Cambridge on its own. This lead to different stories from all the groups, which had all explored another part of the city. An hour and a half later one student slipped in the mud and had showered and another lost a pedal, which he was fortunately able to retrieve.
After the biking it was time to have some rest, so we went punting. Punting? Yes, punting, lying on a boat while somebody else pushed the boat upstream with a stick, much like in Venice. Some participants appeared to be quite good in leaning back and letting others do the work for them. The tour itself was interesting, because we had a good view on the different colleges, amongst which Trinity College, King’s College, Queen’s College and St. John’s College. Our guide told us a lot about the history of these various colleges and the architecture. Afterwards it was free time for everyone. Because it was Valentine’s day, it was nearly impossible to get a decent meal, because at most restaurants all the tables were booked. Some of us ended up in a sports bar for example, since no decent man would take his wife or girlfriend there for Valentine’s dinner. The dinner was good and we went home. Statisfied, in brain and stomach.