From [South] to [North], from [Saying Goodbye again to Cambridge] to [Harry Potter]
The students of the British study tour reluctantly said farewell to their homestay parents at 9am July 24th. In this short week, they have improved their capability and confidence and gained friendships and families in UK. "Family" is a kind of feeling, even though the Britain's "home" is just a short experience in their lives, they will still remember them as a magnificent one.
Since then, our British study tour finished the learning in south London and went north to the second phase of the northern trips.
PART1. Following the footsteps of Xu Zhimo, came to Cambridge!
Cambridge is located in 50 miles (80 km) north of London. It is most widely known as the home of the University of Cambridge, which was founded in 1209. It was established by the teachers who escaped from assault in the University of Oxford. It is the seventh oldest university of the world, the second oldest university of the English speaking world and the top university of UK and the world. Numerous celebrities graduated from Cambridge University, such as Newton, Darwin, Hawking, 15 British prime ministers, 25 prime ministers of other countries, more than 100 Nobel Prize winners. Many Chinese celebrities came here as well. The poem “Saying goodbye again to Cambridge “of famous poet Xu Zhimo is written here. The City consists of 31 colleges, which have no walls and signs. Most of the institutes, research centers, libraries and laboratories were built along the sides of the Cambridge and in the town. This is a very special academic and tourist city with the gardens, museums, churches and bridges and old buildings which created a pleasant study atmosphere and welcoming environment.
There are many stories in Cambridge University. One of the most famous one is about Mathematical Bridge related of Queen's College. It was said that the bridge was built by Newton and the whole bridge had no screw, which rise a student’s curious and he disassembled it for research but end up failing to put it back as it was, so he had to rebuild it with screws. This is just a story and it is not true. The bridge was build 22 years after Newton’s death. It used iron nails at first, which was not distinct, while the new bridge used screws. (However, it seems true that it was disassembled and assembled by a curious student.)
There have been many Chinese students came to Cambridge University since the beginning of the 20th century. The famous poem “Saying goodbye again to Cambridge” of Xu Zhimo has been enlightening our imagination and fantasy which brought us to a romantic and poetic place. He once said emotionally that it was Cambridge that made me open my eyes, evoked my thirst for knowledge and conceived my self-consciousness. It can be seen that he had deep feeling of Cambridge.
Henry IV, now holds stool legs in his hand, which should be a scepter. It was vandalized by drunk students reportedly.
Trinity College is one of the largest colleges in the University of Cambridge with the most abundant financial resources and finest reputation. It has marvelous academic achievements and is famous for the brilliant graduates which include 32 Nobel Prize winners, Newton Bacon, Byron, Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein and others.
In fact, Newton was hit by an apple in his own backyard, but the apple trees in Trinity College is believed to be the descendants of the one whose fruit hit Newton.
King's College is one of the most famous colleges of the University of Cambridge. It was founded in 1441 by King Henry VI, so it was named King’s College. It had only a president and 70 students at the beginning, all of whom Eton College. Then King's College only accepted graduates from Eton and did not accept graduates from other schools. The King’s College is most proud of the history of 1689, college teachers and students successfully resisted the order from the king which appointed Newton as the president of King's College who was from Trinity College. It is believed that this behavior showed the dignity and independent spirit of the King's College. In order to show the king's abundant financial resources, the college set up magnificent buildings at the beginning of its establishment and the most one is the King's College Chapel, whose cloud-capped minaret and majestic Gothic architectural style has become the sign and glory of Cambridge.
Time Devourer is a clock, which also called time diners, Time Eater clock, Corpus Christi Clock. It was officially opened in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University on September 19, 2008. The famous physicist Stephen Hawking to participated in the opening ceremony. It is known as "the strangest bell" and it has no hands or a digital timer, only an ugly formed mechanical insect devour every minute. The designers call it the time diners to remind people time passes by quickly and never comes back.
Beautiful Cam river goes through the city
Rainy lane is poetic. It began to drizzle when we leave Cambridge, children stay out of the main road for bicycles and other pedestrians.
Part of the poem “Saying goodbye to Cambridge again”
In the gentle waves of Cambridge
I would be a water plant!
That pool under the shade of elm trees
Holds not water but the rainbow from the sky;
Shattered to pieces among the duckweeds
Is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream?
To seek a dream? Just to pole a boat upstream
To where the green grass is more verdant;
Or to have the boat fully loaded with starlight
And sing aloud in the splendour of starlight.
But I cannot sing aloud
Quietness is my farewell music;
Even summer insects help silence for me
Silent is Cambridge tonight!
Very quietly I take my leave
As quietly as I came here;
Gently I flick my sleeves
Not even a wisp of cloud will I bring away
The students visited York Cathedral in the afternoon, which is not only the largest extant medieval church in Europe, but also one of the most exquisitely designed churches.
York pudding which is a must try food if you come to York. Does it look delicious?
The children finally can have Chinese food for dinner!
PART2. Visit the birthplace of Harry Potter, Edinburgh!
July 25, Saturday, the students got ready to go to Scotland after enjoyed a substantial breakfast in the riverfront hotel.
The members of UK study tour went to north and reached the north end of the east coast of England, from where they entered Scotland.
Edinburgh is built on the volcanic rock. It is not only the capital of Scotland, but also the premier local cultural and historical center and tourist city. It was named "Athens of the North". It is one of Europe's most popular tourist cities and the most beautiful UK cities as well. The city holds about 50 million population and it is the second largest city of Scotland and the seventh largest city of UK. Edinburgh makes you rediscover the lead grey color, which blended in the historical sites and time-honored buildings. The views change as you walk along the streets. Walking around the city makes feel that it is the best interpretation of Scotland spirit and culture. The city is elegant and unique, like an old, sophisticated, prosperously dressed and calmly talking man, who is admirable and charming.
Edinburgh Castle is an important symbol of Scotland and Edinburgh. It was built at the top of granite on an extinct volcano, which is so distinct that it can be seen from the city center. It was 120 meters high overlooked the whole city.
The birthplace of Harry Potter – Elephant Café
We can only take a phone of the Elephant Café in the car because of the rain
JK Rowling has a good foundation of classical literature. She and her little daughter who was still in her infancy came and lived here from London. At that time, she was unemployed and had to rely on government benefits support her live. She lived in a shabby apartment which had no heating or air conditioning system. Pushing baby carriages, she often came to the Elephant Café and ordered a cup of the cheapest coffee just to get warm and relieve the frustrating feelings. It is in the corner of this small Café that Rowling sit. Nobody paid attention to her at that time, who was a single mum living in poverty. Now she is the richest woman in UK. Life is full of miracles, just like the world in Harry Potter.
The study tour continued to go to north and lived in Glasgow for the night, which is the biggest city of Scotland.
The students are going to the Lake District and the hometown of Shakespeare in the next two days. Please wait for the next wonderful report.
To be continued...