St John’s College is one of the largest colleges in Cambridge, and is perhaps the most impressive. A sprawling medley of quads, halls, and towers, it also contains a large and beautifully-decorated chapel, and extends across the River Cam by way of the Cambridge Bridge of Sighs, a delicate stone with a covered interior gently lit through glass windows, and beloved by Queen Victoria.
While ORA students were being given a tour of the college yesterday afternoon, and perhaps even as they crossed that bridge, other students were trying their hand at punting along the river that flows underneath. Punts appear simple –after all, they are little more than a flat barge to be poked along by a pole— but are in fact deceptively difficult to handle, and the students that gave it a go managed it very well.
Other students made use of the afternoon by participating in a trip to the Cambridge Botanic Gardens, resplendent now in summer flowers, or to the Fitzwilliam Museum, one of the cultural jewels of Cambridge.
Returning to Clare College in the evening, students enjoyed a games night organised by the counsellors: a game of football was organised on the lawn at the College Back (is there a more picturesque place to play the Beautiful Game than the College Backs?), while a board game evening quickly and spontaneously became an informal chess tournament. Other students, fired up by what they had discovered in their lessons that morning, took their books and laptops out again to learn more in their own time.