Saturday, April 17, 2010

You Kay

I had the opportunity to visit the UK for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was a business trip which means it was rather inexpensive for me! My traveling partner was my workmate Nate, as the others on the trip had different travel arrangements.

The Union Jack

The majority of our trip was spent in Cambridge, and the nature of our business there was the demonstration of, training with, and delivery of a pair of our eyeglasses to a particularly sharp gentleman who's lost the vast majority of his ability to move or communicate.

However, before we got down to business, we got to spend a morning in the nearby town of Ely exploring the cathedral there.

Outside Ely Cathedral


The Octagon

And a few from a wander around Cambridge after dark one evening. Cambridge is the college town upon which all other college towns are modeled. Replete with maniacal wobbly cyclists, food from every corner of the globe, and exquisitely manicured grounds, places like Harvard wish they were in a different Cambridge than they are.


One of many churches in Cambridge

Now down to business...the aforementioned sharp gentleman is none other than Stephen Hawking, an example of absolute brilliance shackled in a body wracked by four decades of the slow decay brought on by ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Examining our creation

Light reading


Center for Mathematical Sciences, Hawking's office

And a couple from a daytime wander through Cambridge.

Cathedral at King's College

First signs of spring

With our business finished, we had a day to ourselves in London. Again, my first time there, so we got to familiarize ourselves with the Tube (confusing at first, but it goes EVERYwhere) and some of the classic sights of the city.

Good luck

We made a walking loop from Picadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square, across the river to the Eye, back across the river to Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey, then over to Buckingham Palace and back to Picadilly Circus.

The Eye

And on St. Patrick's Day, we met up with Ethel's mate Daniella, who took us to a few Irish pubs that were packed, as most of London wasn't really observing this holiday. You know, not being Ireland and all.

Near Covent Garden

After a pair of flights home that incorporated 9 out of the top 10 travel nightmare cliches, we got back into the normal swing of things in both life and work. Another country ticked off my big world map, the opportunity to meet a remarkable man, and more jetlag than I care to deal with in the space of 6 days!

Past Detritus