Alone Abroad (Part 1) – Cambridge and the Botanical Garden

Spent two weeks abroad in Cambridge, UK last July-August for business meetings and immersing with my new team. My last trip was 2 years ago and this time the weather is much warmer and I had to travel alone.

I was actually pretty excited to travel alone but it also means I had to prepare more in order not to get lost or confuse. Travelling for 13 hour straight was torture but I was glad there’s no layover. I sat in the window seat and had disturbed the young and kind Korean couple sitting beside me (they probably think I have a bladder problem). I wanted to get to Cambridge asap, get some proper sleep, fix my things and get ready for the work week.

The post is pretty heavy with pictures! I took a lot of photos because who knows when I will have the opportunity to go back to the UK again! 😀

Our pet deer in the backyard. He/she just comes and goes. We don’t know where he/she came from since there’s no forest nearby.
My portable painter and some stuff I did afterwork since I HAVE MORE TIME HERE!

Cambridge pretty much remains the same – except now it’s warmer and more green than the last time I’ve been there. I was alone in the staff house for the first night and that should have scared me but I was too exhausted from the long flight that I fell asleep immediately. The next day after locking the door and heading out to hear mass and get my bearings, I finally got a proper coffee (at Starbucks of course) and just strolled the nearby Coop to buy essentials – milk, egg. It was nice to go grocery shopping abroad and now I realized how much I am becoming like my mom hahaha!

Craving for some burger after my long flight – Five Guys burger didn’t disappoint!

Marks and Spencer here is a game changer. While in PH the M&S is mostly clothing and food, here it’s like a department store where you can even buy meat, utensils and yes, flowers! I actually bought a pair of nude loafers that were on sale!

While most of my 2-week stay in Cambridge were for meetings and learning about my new team and project, I still managed to explore more parts of Cambridge that I didn’t get to do before – thanks to my colleagues over there that were so hospitable and accommodating!

The office.
My new team introduced me to toasties which is THE BEST THING EVERRR. I always get cheese on brown bread. They even have a big machine that grills both sides perfectly.
Their salads make me cry. Why can’t we have anything like that near the office in Manila? Or even in the canteen???
King’s College. Since there’s no traffic or commuting after work, I get to walk around Cambridge and there’s still sun. *cries*
It’s hard to stroll around without anybody to take pictures. Thankfully my new team didn’t mind so I can post to let my family and IG peeps to see that I’m alive. 😀
Oldest pub in Cambridge, where they apparently coined the term DNA. I’ve been inside on my last UK trip so I didn’t go in anymore.
We had dinner here in Jamie Oliver (Gordon Ramsey’s UK counterpart/rival). The food was just ok.
Actually this was the best dish of the night. Fried calamaris.Sadly it’s not my entree. 😀
Someone else’s entree. Truffle pasta.
My entree. Burrata on toast.
Main dish – we all got the steak! But it’s not very tender and it was a chore to chew even though it was already medium rare. One of us got the well done and it was painful watching him eat. >.<

Even though I’ve been around the City Center and Grand Arcade I still take a stroll after work and now that I have companions they took me around to much farther places I wouldn’t dare venture alone since I get lost easily hehe.

Cath Kidson backpack I got on sale!!! It was around 30£ so around 2,127Php! Not bad!

Asda supermarket = more grocery shopping!

Another day another toasties and the KeepCup which they advocate to help save on paper cups. I just borrowed the cup from my team mate hahaha.

I still bring a packed lunch to work. Some dinner leftovers paired with soup and salad. And a banana! 😀
Another packed lunch – fish fillet and ordered some veggies on the side. 😀
Full English breakfast served on Fridays. I didn’t get everything because it’s just too much hahaha.
My coffee of choice in the UK – Costa!

I also had the pleasure of having walking meetings which means exploring gardens and museums while talking about work! Let’s make that a mandatory for all meetings here ok? But you’ll probably get robbed in Makati before you can get to the agenda hahaha!

One of the meeting locations – The Cambridge University Botanical Gardens. The entrance to the botanical garden has a lovely souvenir shop. Mom would go crazy in there. She asked me to buy so many fragrant soaps.

Isaac Newton’s apple tree’s descendant.

 

Entering the hottest part of the gardens – The Greenhouse!

The temperature is like the peak of summer in Manila!

My fave section – the Desert Plants!

Sunburned but still smiling. 😀

The garden was so huge that I’ll probably go around and around in circles if I’m left alone. There are also areas that are off limits due to wasps (ACK!).

Seeing a garden as lush and green as Cambridge University’s half of me wanted to take photos so I can share it with my mom and friends, part of me just wanted to stay there and take it all in. Maybe I did both? I cannot remember when was the last time I just explored nature and didn’t need to rush.

A souvenir for myself.
Soaps my mom demanded I get as souvenirs! They were heavy! I actually bought some more in the museum.

Second meeting location was in the Fitzwilliam museum but I couldn’t take a lot of photos inside the gallery. They were having a an exhibit on floral paintings and I’m super duper blessed to see watercolor paintings of famous botanical painters. I was in awe the whole time gazing at the paintings and they were able to preserve it so well too!

A small ceramic jug I got for mom from the museum – it has the famous strawberry thief pattern by William Moris.

And ending my post here with the famous Cambridge waffle! I’ll make a second post about my travel to London. Cheers! 🙂

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