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.
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.