This morning, after getting Heather’s bike fixed up so it was a little more rideable, we took a short trip to the American Cemetery in Madingley, a cemetery devoted largely to airmen from the Eighth Air Force and sailors who served in the Battle of the Atlantic. I’d read a little about the cemetery, and one of my grandparents had served in the Eighth Air Force, and it seemed like an appropriate destination for a Sunday.

Today's bike ride
bicycling, via flickr

Following a path from Cambridge to the cemetery described by a local cycling blogger, we cycled through town, past the science center, and to the village of Coton. (There was an excellent thatched house there.)

Thatched cottage
thatched cottage, via flickr

From there we turned north, and about a mile later were at the cemetery.

American Cemetery at Madingley
entrance to the cemetery, via flickr

It’s quite a remarkable place. The 3,800 graves are laid out in a series of arcs, and to one side is a reflecting pool and a memorial wall with another 5,000 names of servicemen whose remains were never recovered (two dozen were later found). One of the names is bandleader Glenn Miller.

American Cemetery at Madingley
american cemetery, via flickr

There’s a chapel that’s an interesting mix of religious and grand strategy: one wall has a vast map of the European air war, with Cambridge at the center of American bombing operations, and the ceiling has a huge mosaic. It speaks of a level of absolute certainty that seems admirable– and increasingly, an artifact of an earlier age. (Many more pictures of the cemetery are on Flickr.)

Panorama of the air war map
air war map, via flickr

It’s a beautiful, sombre place. Well worth visiting.

American Cemetery at Madingley
chapel mosaic, via flickr

After that we bicycled back to Cambridge, went to Waterstones Books, and spent the next couple hours reading.

Reading about the future of HCI
reading at waterstones, via flickr

This being Sunday, we then came home for dinner. The whole town seems to kind of shut down after 5 on Sundary, and besides, we had plenty to do at home.