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Day 6 in the UK; Ely Cathedral and a Rainy Day in Cambridge

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

As I posted our trip photos on Facebook, I had friends who kept saying “you must visit Ely Cathedral”. And we did. Our group of happy travelers boarded the bus early on Saturday and headed toward Cambridge and the small town of Ely. Our guide told us that people always wonder how this majestic cathedral was built in such a small out of the way village. It was founded by a very religious queen, Etheldreda, who had lived a rather complicated life. She restored an old church in 673 AD. The monastery flourished for 200 years and was destroyed by the Danes. Work on the present Cathedral began in the 11th century. There are many architectural styles in the cathedral which blend to create a place of great beauty.

The ceiling of the nave was installed as part of the Victorian restoration. It tells the story of the ancestry of Jesus. It is so beautiful.

Here are some other photos of the interior. Be sure to click to see a larger view.




I loved the Lady Chapel.

It is an open space flooded with light from the beautiful windows.

The chapel once had stained glass windows and painted statues in the niches. They were destroyed by Puritans during the Reformation because they rejected decoration in sacred spaces.

This is the altar and the statue of Mary above it. It was created by sculptor David Wynne and received mixed reviews. Some say it looks like Beyonce!!

The niches along the sides of the chapel have needle point cushions portraying the laborers who built the cathedral.

I saw a quilt when I viewed this floor.

There was a mix of modern and ancient sculpture.

This is another piece by David Wynne.

A crying cherub.

And this wall sculpture greets people as they enter the cathedral.

This is a closeup of an architectural detail on the exterior.

After visiting Ely, we got back on the bus and soon found ourselves in a rainy Cambridge. It did not deter the boaters on the river.

This is a view of King’s College.

We walked a bit in the rain and found a place to duck inside and eat lunch. We all gathered again for a tour of the King’s College Chapel. This Ruben’s painting of The Adoration of the Magi is behind the altar.

On Sunday, we headed for St Paul’s Cathedral for the morning service. We then hung around the area; ate lunch at the cathedral cafe, watched a marathon running through central London, attended the late afternoon evensong and walked a few blocks to the Ye Olde Cock Tavern where we all gathered for an end of the trip celebration.

It was a fun 12 days.


Day 5 in the UK; Looking for the Queen

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

We boarded our coach after brseakfast and headed for Windsor Castle. One of my friends proclaimed it a proper fairy tale castle. We were given audio guides for our walk through thi immense  place.  The size of the Castle is breath taking, in fact it is the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world and it’s where Her Majesty The Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends.

There was no photography allowed inside the buildings. St. George’s chapel was beautiful and so well cared for. It was my favorite part of the tour. We also got to view Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the largest, most beautiful and most famous dolls’ house in the world, created in the 1920s and filled with thousands of objects made by leading craftsmen, artists and designers of the time.

You could buy ice cream made from real milk from the royal farms.

Here are some shots of the exterior.


We watched the changing of the guard. I made a video, but I couldn’t upload it to the blog. We left the castle and went down to the village for lunch before heading back to the hotel.  My daughters had requested more photos of their Dad being silly.

We rested and then got dressed up for our evening. We took the underground to St. Paul’s for evensong and then walked across the Millenium Bridge to find a place for dinner. We found a Turkish restaurant with a pre-theater menu of 3 courses and wine for a fixed price. It was pretty good. Our big event for the evening was Twelfth Night at The Shakespeare Globe theater.

It was so much fun, even if the seats were a hard wooden bench with no back. We were in the third tier of the open air theater.  Below you can see the standing room area which was packed with people.

This production of Twelfth Night was set in the 1970’s with music from the 70’s. It was a hoot. I snagged this photo from their website.

I loved the colorful lights in the trees outside the theater.

I got this photo of St. Paul’s Dome as we walked back over the bridge to take the underground home.

This was one of my most active days.





Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Day 4 in the UK; Canterbury Cathedral

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

We were so excited to hop on a coach with our fellow Trinity companions and head south to the city of Canterbury. Our mission was to visit the Canterbury Cathedral, kind of the mother church of the Anglican/Episcopal Communion. It is the Cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the symbolic leader of the Anglican Communion. Mr C and I love visiting cathedrals. Most of these big cathedrals in the UK were built long ago – the original structure was built in 597 AD. The cathedral went through many incarnations, but the basis of the current cathedral was built in the 15th and 16th centuries. When you look at the magnificent architecture and realize it was built with very primitive tools, you can understand why it took years and years to finish construction.

We were divided into smaller groups and assigned a well-educated docent who led each tour. Here are some photos that I took of the structure and beauty of this place. (Be sure to click on photos to see them larger.)


One of the men in our group asked if there was much stained glass. The guide kind of smiled and said you will see. The stained glass in this cathedral is extensive and beautiful. Here are some examples:



One of the most notable events in the early history of the Canterbury Cathedral was the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket.

A pivotal moment in the history of the cathedral was the murder of the archbishop, Thomas Becket, in the north-west transept (also known as the Martyrdom) on Tuesday, 29 December 1170, by knights of King Henry II. The king had frequent conflicts with the strong-willed Becket and is said to have exclaimed in frustration, “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights took it literally and murdered Becket in his own cathedral. After the Anglo-Saxon Ælfheah, Becket was the second Archbishop of Canterbury to be murdered.

The posthumous veneration of Becket made the cathedral a place of pilgrimage. This brought both the need to expand the cathedral and the wealth that made it possible.

After our tour, we spent some time in the city of Canterbury which had a nice array of shops and restaurants. It was a nice day and we enjoyed just sitting and watching people.

I was not quite as active today – pacing myself!! My back was hurting quite a bit so I sat down as often as I could.


Day 3 in the UK and I Check Off a Bucket List Item

Monday, August 14th, 2017

On Wednesday of our week in the UK, we had a free day. Mr C had booked a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath before our trip. We took the underground one stop and walked to where we were to meet the coach. We were not sure where we were supposed to be, but a family from Finland told us that we were in the right spot. It was gray and cloudy and rain was in the forecast.

By the time we got to Stonehenge it was raining and very windy. Here is the queue for the shuttle at the welcome center to the location of the stones.

I enjoyed checking out the wild flowers along the path.

Here is the mob of people walking up to the stones in the rain!!

We admired the stones and the ingenuity of the people who put them here.

We got a selfie with the stones in the background. By this time the rain was coming down horizontally.

We went back to the welcome center and perused the displays with all the other folks. The welcome center was very well done and I wish it had not been so crowded so that I could see the displays a bit better.  Then, we ate a sandwich lunch before getting back on the bus and off to Bath.

As you can see, it was really raining when we got to Bath. I would like to have been able to see the beautiful countryside bathed in sunlight!

We were warned by our guide that we must be back on the bus by 4pm or we would be left behind and have to spend 30 pounds to take the train back to London. We queued up again at the Roman Baths while she got our group tickets.

We were inside with another mob of people, but at least it was dry. We both enjoyed the baths and the ancient architecture, artifacts and stories.

It was still raining when we left the baths so we ducked into a coffee shop until the rain let up. We decided to check out a marketplace with various vendors. I found a booth that was selling sewing supplies:


Dylon dyes

Gutterman thread

I wish I had bought some of the dyes to try.

All of a sudden, it was time to head back to the bus and every street and building looked the same. We knew we needed to get near the cathedral.

We finally found the spot where the bus was supposed to be and there was no bus and we couldn’t find anyone who was on our bus. Slight panic happened. Then we began to see others and the bus finally showed up.

We got back to our underground station and bought some take out and a bottle of wine to take back to the room. We were damp, tired and happy with our rainy adventure. This was my activity for the day.