Last month Camilla and I went to Cambridge - known in Oxford as "the other place" - for the day, to meet up with one of her PhD supervisors who was visiting from Australia.
We didn't have that long - the drive there takes over two hours - but we managed to fit in:
- lunch in Darwin College, with Tony and his sister-in-law (a calligrapher turned botanical artist)
- a walk along "the backs", where a row of colleges back onto the Cam
- a visit to the chapel of Kings College (which I have to say leaves Oxford's cathedral seeming rather pokey)
- a wander around the markets, where I picked up copies of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and HRF Keating's Dead on Time
- a quick visit to Sydney Sussex college (most of the colleges were closed for exams), where Tony explained the story of Cromwell's head
- a visit to David's Bookshop, which has a nice mix of antiquarian and new/remainder books
And on the way home Camilla showed me around Hinxton, where the "Genome Campus" is, so I'd have some idea what we'd be letting ourselves in for if she got a job there, and we had dinner in the Red Lion there.
Overall, my first impression is that Cambridge is nicer - as a tourist - than Oxford. There's a larger central pedestrianised area, which makes for a more pleasant experience than trying to negotiate Oxford's High St. And, perhaps because the Cam is less of a flood problem than the Thames/Isis or Cherwell, the Cambridge colleges seem to use the river more.