Sunday, 17 July 2011

Keynes the Golfer

One of the courses this summer has students study the life and work of famous economist, John Maynard Keynes, who was born and raised in Cambridge.  He was a great academic and lover of intellectual debate as well as good sport.  So on Friday afternoon we took a trip to learn a little about one of his pastimes: golf.

The first crew heading out onto the course
For a number of the students this was their first time swinging a club, but everyone seemed to enjoy getting outside and onto the course.   While most of us scored well above par, we certainly had fun and found lots of opportunities for pictures!

Alice the lady golfer

Fay sets up a shot

Amit mastering the putter

Aaron sizing up his next shot
It's good!

Krishna surveying the green
Our golfing star of the day, Scott

We even had the opportunity to shoot a little video of Krishna versus a water hazard above - we'll let you decide who wins.

King's College, Shell and The Eye

On Wednesday, July 13th, before returning to London, we made our way to King's College for a tour around the campus where Keynes studied.  Following class discussion, Erik Anderson lead the group through the college pointing out specific areas from the book.  We had a little extra time to watch punters navigating the Cam and saw our first punter take an unintended swim in the river!

The King's College cathedral
Walking through the gorgeous grounds - but don't step on the grass!

Erik A pointing out some of the sites from the Keynes book

The view from along the river Cam

For the afternoon it was back to London - this time to visit with two executives, Mark Williams (a Carleton alum) and Graeme Sweeney, at the London Shell headquarters.  It was a fascinating visit where we learned a great deal about the energy choices Shell is making for the future, along with how economics plays a vital role in those decisions.

All suited up for the Shell visit

Enjoying some refreshments in the board room
Everyone looking the part...
From the top of the Shell building we got a stunning view of surrounding London and brilliant glimpse of our next stop: the London Eye.

View from the Shell building
 From the Shell building, we made our way to the river Thames for a ride on the iconic London Eye.  It was a spectacular way to see the city - and made for an ideal end to our day in London.

Up we go...

Big Ben

Don't forget the snacks!

Seeing the sites

Group pod shot

Science and Transportation

First stop of the day: Science Museum
On Monday, July 11th, we ventured back into London for visits to the Science Museum and London Transport Museum.  Our first stop, the Science Museum, brought together a number of the Industrial Revolution energy sources we previously explored in the museum's very informative Energy Hall.  We also had a chance to tie in some of the energy course in the exhibit: Energy - Fueling the Future.

Checking out the steam power

Ruben and Adam exploring some of the interactive elements of the exhibit
One of the many impressive steam powered engines in Energy Hall

Alice learning about current energy projects
The transportation museum gave us a chance to look at the evolution of moving people and products in and around London over the past 200+ years.  It was fascinating to see the development of the underground and see the change from steam to electric powered tube cars.

Our second museum of the day...

Learning about the steam powered underground

Completing the first tube line: the Circle route

Looking down from the past into the future
Exploring the online component of transportation and a little couch time

Amit and Lesley on board an old double decker
From there it was back to Cambridge to prep for Tuesday classes.  Wednesday would take us back into the big city for a visit with one of the biggest energy companies in the world: Shell.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

East Anglia Tour

On Wednesday, July 6th, we met up with Janet Jeacock (our resident historical expert) for a day exploring East Anglia.

An overview of our travels for the day
We started out from Hughes Hall and Janet added in some bonus Cambridge history as we traveled to our first stop at the American Cemetery of Cambridge - a sad, but beautiful, place focused primarily on remembering the soldiers lost during World War II.  Despite the forecast for rain, we arrived to find gorgeous blue skies, which made the grounds that much more striking.

Gathered together under the flag
From the flag toward the Memorial building
The beautifully maintained grounds
 The flag from the memorial building
Inside the memorial building - a stunning artistic rendering of combat

From the cemetery, we headed on to Ely and the Ely Cathedral (which began construction in the 11th century) where we had an excellent tour of the historic building. 

The Muppets take Ely Cathedral

"The Creation" of an economist?

The impressive cathedral exterior
And even more impressive interior...
We split up into two groups to climb the cathedral's well known octagon tower.  There we found exquisite views of the painted panels and a dizzying look down into the the Nave below.

Our next stop: up!

Peering down into the nave

Peeking out through the panels
Our tour of the upper portion of the cathedral culminated with a visit to the top of the tower where we enjoyed lovely views of the town below and even watched a rain shower pass over the southeastern landscape. 
A view of the west tower from the octagon tower

Gabriella warming up in a sunny patch

Our guide giving us the lay of the land

Erik F taking in the sites

The town of Ely below

Some of the doorways were a little tight for our tall group
But we all managed to squeeze through...

From the tower tour we rejoined Janet for a guided walk around the ground floor of the building.  It was interesting to note that this cathedral contains no crypt due to the swampy nature of the area - according to our guides it would undoubtedly flood.  But we did see a few tombs and even had two willing volunteers try out a stone sarcophagus for size...

Janet pointing out some notable aspects of the cathedral
A small example of the spectacular stained glass which filled the building
The lounging bishop
Jeff is an almost perfect fit...

But Gabriella is like a bug in a rug... Maybe we should leave her for the next group?
It was then back on the coach for lunch as we made our way to the next stop of the day: Bury St Edmunds and the Abby gardens and ruins (plus a quick stop at the smallest pub in Britain!).

The Abby entrance

The meticulous gardens

Stopping to smell the flowers...

Some of the ancient abbey ruins
Our time in Bury St Edmunds wrapped up with a trip to the smallest pub in England - it only holds ten patrons comfortably!  A few students managed to squeeze in for a pint.

The tiniest pub in Britain
Erik F, Vishal, Sam and Ruben stop for a pint

Our last stop on the East Anglia circuit was the town of Lavenham, one of the best preserved medieval towns in England.  It is filled with the historical timber framed houses, a number of which are famous for their precarious looking nature (due to the houses often being built with green wood), and their pink color (from ox blood added to the house paint).

The Crooked House of Lavenham
We capped off our visit with a round of cream tea at the Swan - a lovely (and delicious!) break after a full day.

The Swan

The group relaxes with cream tea

From there it was back home to Cambridge before an evening walk followed by group discussion about the Keynes book at a local pub.

Sam reading the plaque at Keynes' boyhood home

We found more than a few familiar names on this plaque...

Paas' students next to the Paas' plaque

Team dinner and discussion at the pub - still smiling after a long day!