On Thursday, 20 September we said goodbye to Mark, who had helped us to find camping gas and brought us to an art supplies shop.
We then turned our attention to the things that had cost nerves while driving: the first one is the still just poorly repaired door mirror and the second is the broken gas springs at the rear garage door.
The gas springs are replaced at Metrol in Northampton and cost a fraction of what we had previously found on the Internet. Happy and satisfied, we returned to our Iveco friends in Waterbeach that we had besieged almost a week involuntarily at the beginning of our trip. We picked up the mirror which we had ordered weeks ago. Of course no-one else had picked it up in the meantime. Who would need a mirror for a 20 year old car! We stayed in a beautiful, quiet street parking place on the promenade of the research center just around the corner from Iveco. The storm wobbled again so violently in our Big Fredi that we already thought we were on a ship.
Cambridge, hailed as a beautiful city, this time we wanted not to be missed and dared to park next to the quay wall. A „death march“ into the city along the banks of the River Cam led us directly
into the center. The visit of the Kettle’s Yard Museum was exciting. A house by its owners – Jim and Helen Ede – given to the State under the requirement that nothing is changed. The furniture, the pictures, the whole interior must always be designed the way it has beendone by the owners.
Even the fresh flowers and the real lemon must be replaced weekly and for this a lot of employees are responsible. The architecture of the house as well as the arrangement of the pictures on the walls testified the good taste of the owners.
From the tour of the house, although a little tired, we marched on passing many colleges through magnificent rows of houses that may have already served many generations of students as living space. On the market it was lively and nutritious. We popped in a Chinese Street Market stand and afterwards Wilfried enjoyed a grilled potatoe pancake in a bun, which isusually used for hamburgers. A strange combination, but with the cream based on sour cream it tasted very good. Lisbeth satisfied their sweet taste with a homemade coffee cake piece of a Brazilian lady.
We walked back along the river back to the car, slept there in the car in the parking lot and wanted to visit London the next day. Lisbeth was not feeling well and so the London visit was postponed one day and planning was improved. 40 £ for online tickets for two persons tour-retour Cambridge-London were bought and even picked up on Saturday from the station. So we could start early on Sunday into the metropolis.
We were amazed to see many rowing boats in the pouring rain. Ourselves in full rain gear, we met some hard-nosed Englishmen in shorts and T-shirts.
London: What a hustle and a bustle! And even on a Sunday. We made it to see the BP Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on the last day of its exhibition. Our audience vote was not strictly the same as the opinion of the jury.
Wilfried could have spend days there. He drew a portrait of a man that Lisbeth liked because it was an old man with a lot of charm and a positive look into the future.
Good thing we had homemade sandwiches with us, so we do not weaken from hunger.
In the National Gallery, a special exhibition of the Impressionists was to be seen briefly.
Past the bustle of Picasilly Circus we strolled towards the river Thames and together with millions of tourists we crossed a pedestrian bridge towards London Eye. Of course, no attraction for us.
Although prognoses were all day rain, the sun flashed out in the afternoon and it is now supposed to be a week of fine weather to come.
Along the South Banks we strolled until at Waterloo we came back to a train station and hopped into the Northern train. One last effort, one more train station to walk to Kings Cross where the train to Cambridge already waited for us.
Wilfried’s idea to walk through the city of Cambridge in the evening back to the car, could only be seen as a joke. We were happy to wait 25 minutes to sit in the bus. Our feet hurt, our backs are in pain, but we come back safely to the Fredis. Little Fredi has dutifully taken care of the big Fredi.
On Monday – the free parking is over now – we go to Highfield Farm Touring Park in Comberton. It’s time to do laundry and Lisbeth’s hair needs to be washed again. Not that the hair washing in Fredi would not be possible. No, unexpectatly is goes very well. But you have to be sparing with the water. Theoretically 400 liters go into the water tank, but we never fill it up to the top. That would be too heavy for Fredi. And besides, we go anyway economical with the water. You never know where you get water the next time.
Shortly after we have arrived the beautiful and quiet campsite Wilfried installed the new mirror. Now we are well prepared for the onward journey.
Although a second day at the campsite costs 23 £ including electricity, we decide to stay a second day. Wilfried can make movies again. The laptop needs a lot of power. With full batteries, we can independently stand up to 5 days. The refrigerator and the light do not need much. However, we can recharge the laptop a maximum of two times. Then it is already tight with electricity.
We will therefore benefit the autumn stay in Nussdorf to mount solar panels on the roof to be independent from expensive campsites.