A day trip was in order since the weather was absolutely gorgeous… a high of 78 and low of 50 meant for some nice walking and biking weather. Today’s target was Ithaca, NY, home of Cornell University. Ithaca is about as far as we like to go for a day trip. Anything more than about 1.5 hours drive one way and we consider it too far to go. The drive over to Ithaca was on nice roads and the rolling hills covered in different species of trees appear as heads of broccoli waiting for harvest.
We rolled into Ithaca about 11:30 and sought out a parking spot and a campus map so we could mill our way around the campus at a leisurely pace. Locating a spot (parking is $3.00 for two hours) we parked and got our bikes off the carrier. With bikes in hand we set off down the hill from the parking lot to go see the Cornell Plantations which are a series of gardens and arboretums.
Even at this time of year there were many things in bloom. It has the appearance of late spring or early summer here in southern New York even though we are approaching autumn. After touring the gardens we found a spot to eat the lunch we brought on top of a hill overlooking the gardens.
Next we biked over to see the older part of Cornell’s central campus. Cornell, an Ivy League school founded in 1865, sits upon a hilltop overlooking the 40-mile-long, glacially carved Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes in central New York State. Enrollment is nearly 20,000 students and it employs just over 1600 staff and faculty. To say this university is a powerhouse in research and education may be an understatement.
The architecture of the older buildings is really interesting as each building seems to have a story to tell when looking at them from different angels and in different light. Bikes help a lot when touring such a large campus and the hilly nature of this campus made for a nice workout as we rode up and down some fairly steep inclines. We stopped many times to look and take photos and when we did as we were treated with vistas of the surrounding mountains or of Cayuga Lake off in the distance.
I think the campus would be a lot more interesting and beautiful if they would have maintained the older architectural presence in their newer buildings. As it is, the newer building stick out like a sore thumb and are not nearly as appealing as the older ones. A nice day none-the-less and after leaving the campus we stopped by Stewart Park and enjoyed the sound of the waves of Cayuga lake crashing into the shoreline…
We love college towns as they are always so full of life and vigor.The energy and vitality of college towns appeal to us. That may be why we lived in one for our last 27 years of living in our stick and bricks home. Now with our home on wheels we have the opportunity to visit many more such towns…