Most people have heard of Cambridge University but don't know that the University is a series of colleges. There is Trinity, St. Johns, Kings College and quite a few others colleges that make up the Cambridge University system.
Going into a city in England is very different than in the States. Since living over here I find my way of shopping has changed significantly. There are many many things I love about the European way of living...but then there are the odd times when I miss the speed and simplicity of the way it is done in the US.
|While you don't pay to park your car at these stations you do pay to ride the bus into town. This is not very expensive, and children under 16 ride free.|
|Most cities in England and Europe have a pedestrian shopping district. Unlike the States there are many speciality stores which makes shopping a bit more fun.|
|The River Cam flows through the city and you will see punters taking tourist and locals for a ride (if you are really ambitious your can hire just the boat and be your own punter). There are several bridges over the river to allow pedestrian walk ways.|
|Around every corner you will see a interesting beautiful sight.|
|In the summer months it is not unusual to see and hear about kids jumping off the bridges to splash unsuspecting tourist in a punt boat!|
|Another part of the shopping experience is the many many places where you can stop to have a cup of tea and a dessert in the outdoor cafe's along the shopping area. (this picture was taken in the summer time) In the colder months restaurants will often have out door heaters in their court yards to help combat the cold.|
So how has my shopping changed since living in the UK....
1. Shopping is now an experience to be enjoyed. I can't just run into a store and pick up something, it is something I need to allow several hours to do.
2. I don't pick up unnecessary purchases along my route as I will have to carry it around until I get back to the bus and then my car.
3. I love the sitting in an outdoor cafe and just watch the people go by and have a cup of tea and a yummy treat!
4. I enjoy the history of the city, the scenery and the specialty shops
5. I have learned to slow down and to really think about what I am buying and decide if I really need it.
**Note there are a few locations here where you can shop in an mall, but I find I avoid them now**
What do I sometimes miss about shopping in the states:
1. Shopping after 6 pm, most stores close by 5 or 5:30
2. Driving up to a store and parking right outside to run in and get the one thing I need is something I occasionally miss.
3. I miss large craft and fabric stores like Michael's and Joannes. I also miss Radio shack. Finding things for some of our school work can be challenging, so I do a lot more on line ordering.
In less than a year we will be heading back to the states and I will miss many things about the European lifestyle and the shopping experience will be one of them!