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Cambridge UK, Punting on the thames

Updated on September 2, 2013

Cambridge, England, is famous for its University, Cathedral and amongst other things, punting on the river Cam. Because it is a University City, there are also lots of weird and wonderful people to sit and watch.

You can listen to someone playing their guitar on a street corner or you can watch a mime act. You can look around the grounds of the University, which is steeped in history, or hear the choir boys at Evensong in the fabulous sixteen century chapel.

We decided we would go punting on the river. The punts look a little like a Venetian Gondola. My friend Peter and I decided on a two-seater. I sat in the front like the Queen, whilst Peter punted at the back.

Punting means one person stands at the back or side of the punt and pushes off from the bottom of the river with a 16ft pole, called the oar.This maneuvers the punt forward, sideways or back: Well, it's supposed to, provided you know what you're doing. It is very funny to watch people trying this for the first time~!

We were moving quite well when suddenly we bumped into a punt coming the other way. Laughing, we managed to untangle ourselves and set off again. We were admiring the sprawling outbuildings of Cambridge College; you can see where Prince Charles had his quarters (the whole of the top floor of one of the buildings).

It is very beautiful with Weeping Willow trees bending into the water. I was admiring an ancient bridge ahead, when I heard Peter cry out. Turning back, I laughed until I cried at the sight of him…

Our punt was making progress, but Peter wasn't. His ‘oar’ was stuck straight up (it must have been stuck in this mud) and he was clinging to it like a monkey! He was trying to keep at least a toe on the punt, but had no choice and was left clinging to the oar.

Everyone who went by was laughing and pointing. I was doubled up, rendered helpless with mirth; my stomach weak from laughing as I drifted further away.

Luckily a passing punt grabbed Peter (who was soaked) and pulled him in; together they managed to pull out the offending oar. Somewhat red-faced, Peter thanked them as they dropped him and his muddy oar back on board our punt.

I still laugh even now as I write this. We had a wonderful time that day. As evening settled over Cambridge, we had our meal outside a pub overlooking the river. England is a beautiful place steeped in history and well worth a visit.


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    • Sifan profile image

      Sifan 7 years ago from The Little Planet

      In your story I can see the beauty of the place, I feel so want to travel. I will read all your stories. It's a fun!

    • brightforyou profile image
      Author

      Helen 7 years ago from Florida

      Sifan, thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment!

    • RealEstateHelper profile image

      RealEstateHelper 7 years ago

      hey, thanks for sharing this lovely piece.

    • brightforyou profile image
      Author

      Helen 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for stopping by Realestatehelper - I really appreciate your comments!

    • petermdhart profile image

      petermdhart 7 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      Yes, I've punted and had a similar experience! Nice hub

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

      I really enjoyed reading this! At first, I thought the picture was a painting. It all sounds so ideal and picturesque. Would love to go punting on the Thames someday!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      What a wonderful story-I love the ease and fluidity of your writing!

    • brightforyou profile image
      Author

      Helen 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks so much for stopping by Lorlie6 and for your kind comments!

    • Fumpy profile image

      Fumpy 5 years ago from Cambridge, UK

      umm... don't you mean the river cam, the river thames doesn't run through cambridge but it does run through oxford; another city with with a world leading university and great heritage though.

      Otherwise great hub! Very amusing story

    • brightforyou profile image
      Author

      Helen 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Fumpy, oops I am embarrassed to say I confused this with another story I was writing - thank you SO much for pointing this out! Much appreciated and it has been changed already - thanks for your help and for stopping by :-) Helen

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