Today,I went punting with other first years from my college! Punting on the Cam is something every student should experience. It’s also heavily marketed to every tourist in Cambridge, and occasionally to students who look like they could be tourists.
Four to five people can sit in a punt, and one person does the punting. Punting involves quickly dropping a long metal rod into the water, pushing the rod against the river bottom to move the boat, and then rapidly lifting the pole out of the water. Below is a picture of punting in action, with the Mathematical Bridge in the background. When this bridge was built, it was said to be held up without a single screw. Of course, now there are a lot of screws in it.
I also tried punting, but the pole is a lot heavier than it looks! It was a bit scary at times since the river can get quite deep. Then, if you don’t drop the rod quickly enough, it won’t reach the bottom of the river before the boat moves too far forward for a push to be effective. I did get better as I kept punting, but I tired fairly quickly since the pole was a bit heavy for me.
Here is the famous King’s College! When punting along the river, you can see the ‘backs’ of the colleges that line the river. It’s really beautiful to see the colleges from this perspective :)
When we were mooring the punt, we saw a bird that had just snagged its dinner!
If you ever visit Cambridge, I’d definitely recommend going punting! Even if it’s ‘touristy’, it’s worth it.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.