Ireland & England · Travel

Day 20 Train Trip to Cambridge

Our family met at the train station in Bury St. Edmund’s and rode the train to Cambridge–about a 45 minute trip. I loved looking at the lush green countryside as we whizzed by.

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Train Station in Bury St. Edmund’s

On the train ride, we passed by Newmarket, famous for “Newmarket has over fifty horse training stables, two large racetracks, the Rowley Mile and the July Course and one of the most extensive and prestigious horse training grounds in the world.”,_Suffolk

This was exciting for me to see–a country girl at heart!

After we arrived in Cambridge, a group of us walked to the main part of Cambridge and others rode the bus. Seeing all the beautiful buildings as we walked was awesome. Again as in Oxford, there were bikes everywhere.

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Bikes–The Preferred Means of Transportation

Look at how narrow the streets are!

Narrow Streets

Cambridge is made up of several colleges, like Oxford.

Here’s Trinity College:

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We continued our walk and saw other colleges along the way. Then part of our group decided go “punting.”

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Our Group Punting

“A punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use in small rivers or other shallow water. Punting refers to boating in a punt. The punter generally propels the punt by pushing against the river bed with a pole. A punt should not be confused with a gondola, a shallow draft vessel that is structurally different, and which is propelled by an oar rather than a pole.”

“The River Cam runs through the heart of Cambridge enabling you to enjoy fantastic views of the world famous Cambridge College ‘Backs’ from the comfort of a traditional Cambridge Punt.”

While the group was punting, Lin, my cousin Meghan and I roamed around Cambridge and had a delicious lunch.

When the group got back together, part of us did a walking tour of Cambridge and saw more of the colleges: King’s College, Corpus Christi College, and Christ’s Church College. We were across the river from Christ’s Church College–what a spectacular view!

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Christ’s Church College

The tour guide told us that Steve Hawkings was often seen around Cambridge, and I would have loved to see him, but we didn’t. We did see Claire College and Trinity College a second time.  We also saw St. John’s College. We ended the tour with the historic Church of the Holy Sepulchre, known as the Round Church, and was built in 1130.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

After a stop at a pub along the way for refreshment and relaxation, we walked back to the train station and made it back to Bury St. Edmund’s safely. What a memorable day in Cambridge!

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Have you ever been to Cambridge? If so, what was your experience? I would love to hear about your experience there!

Ireland & England · Travel

Day 10 – Dublin – More Hop On & Off

So sorry for the delay. The holidays hit, but I’m back!

Our full day in Dublin was jam packed from the start! Again we used the services of the Hop On & Off bus system, and it worked well.

Container Coffee Shop

We stopped off at the Container Coffee shop near our hostel for breakfast. Yes, it was a coffee shop in a small storage container and the coffee and service were great.

Our hostel was off of James Street and right across from the Guiness Storehouse, so we stopped there first and booked tickets for their tour for the next morning.

Killmainham Gaol

Our first bus stop was the Killmainham Gaol (jail). “Many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed in the prison by the British.” (

The cells of many of the famous men from the 1916 Easter Rising were identified. A taxi driver specifically asked us if we were going to this gaol which was a major part of their history. I understood why he emphasized seeing it after the tour.

The feeling at the jail was somber–the echo throughout the place was pain and suffering. I’m glad we toured and learned about this part of Irish history.

Our next stop was Trinity College and the Book of Kells. We had been warned that the line might be super-long there, but we arrived at a time it wasn’t too bad and certainly the wait was more than worth it.

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Larada in line for the Book of Kells

The Book of Kells “is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created in a Columban monastery in either Britain or Ireland and may have had contributions from various Columban institutions from both Britain and Ireland. It is believed to have been created c. 800 AD.” (

The illustrations are gorgeous, extravagant and complex. As we wound our way through the exhibit, we were educated on the Book of Kells. When we finally arrived, people crowded the display, but we had ample time to get a close look at the book and marvel at this ancient document.

Our next stop was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We did a guided tour and learned a lot. It was founded in 1191 and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. I thought it was Catholic, but it isn’t. I bought St. Patrick pins for two Catholic friends, and they appreciated them anyway.

“Throughout its long history the cathedral has contributed much to Irish life, and one key aspect of this relates to the writer and satirist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, who was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Many of his famous sermons and “Irish tracts” (such as the Drapier’s Letters) were given during his stay as Dean.[11]

His grave and epitaph can be seen in the cathedral, along with those of his friend Stella. Swift took a great interest in the building, its services and music and in what would now be called social welfare, funding an almshouse for poor women and Saint Patrick’s Hospital.” (,_Dublin)

More to come to this full day–we jumped on the bus and toured the city to rest a bit. We had a destination in mine, raced there on foot after hopping off the bus–The Archaeology Museum–before it closed, and made it. It closed at 5:00 pm and we rushed in the door at 4:00–one hour to find the Bog Man.

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Bog Body at the Archaeology Museum of Ireland

The tour guide at Rathcroghan, Daniel Curley, suggested we go to the Archaeology Museum in Dublin to see the “Bog bodies.” “A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog.” ( He told us that one of the bodies was found on his farm near Rathcroghan. It was eery for sure.

There was so much to see there but we barely skimmed the surface.

The day ended with a strong desire to eat at the oldest pub in Ireland, the Brazen Head, but it was too busy, so we crossed the street and returned to O’Shea’s Merchant Restaurant again for another delicious Irish meal.

The day exhausted us, so we returned to our room early and packed for our flight to England the next day. We still had the next morning to tour the Guiness Storehouse before we were off to the airport. We loved Ireland and were reluctant to leave.

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