Sep 23, 2008


Unfortunately I don't remember much about Canterbury. I wish I could say it was because I'm writing about my day trip there almost two years later... but the truth of the matter is I just didn't find it that memorable. Before I offend anyone, please allow me to explain.

I suppose my first problem is that I didn't know much about the town. Sure I'd read select parts of the Canterbury tales... but how much do the stories honestly tell you about the town? Nothing from what I recall. Anyway, I should have done some research, at least do more than look up the weather and how to get there, but I didn't. The beauty of my rail pass was that I could go anywhere... and so I did. I also think that at this point my month time frame was nearing the end and I was trying to fit in as much travel as humanly possible before my rail pass expired. Hence the lack of preparation which is no one's fault but my own.

My second problem was that I was feeling a bit under the weather, and almost decided to get right back on the train and head home. Sounds ridiculous, I know, especially since it's about a two and a half hour ride. But I really was not feeling well and wanted to just crawl back into bed. The next closest thing I had to my bed was a warm rail car with decently comfortable seats.

And the third problem was the weather itself. There was a chance it wouldn't rain... I was really hoping that chance would prevail. But as you can tell from the streets, it didn't.
The town is very cute, I will give it that. There are places that are closed to vehicles and I spent most of my time wandering in the middle of the street. I figured I would stay drier this way and would be less likely to slip... and since most everyone else was walking there I didn't think it could hurt much.
The rain seemed to come and go just enough to make you want to leave your umbrella constantly open. I mean what's worse, a person with an open umbrella when it's not raining, or a person who is constantly opening and then closing their umbrella when the weather changes. I'll begin taking votes on this... now.
I eventually made my way to the little square above and looked around at all the shops before entering the Cathedral grounds. The gateway to the grounds is below.

In reality, the cathedral was my entire reason for visiting the town as it was also the only thing I really knew about... and I think it's safe to say that it is where I spent most of my time.
This was the view the greeted me as soon as I entered the Cathedral. This was also one of those locations where pictures were welcomed, and I was happy to oblige. More views from the interior of the church.
This is one of my favorites... the lighting through the windows is beautiful.
And of course I took a tour of the grounds, but made sure to keep a roof over my head. Unfortunately the low light conditions and my lack of a tripod created a series of blurry, non aestheticly pleasing images. Sadness. But I will give you one views from outside...
Back to the interior of the Cathedral...

Below is a memorial for Archbishop Thomas Becket who was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170 by followers of King Henry II. Two years after his death, Becket was made a saint.
For some reason I can't find a map of the grounds. I believe the next two shots are of the nave in the center of the Cathedral.
I eventually made my way towards the exit and walked past the Quire which houses Becket's shrine. The Quire was rebuilt after being destroyed in a fire in the 12th century.
I still wasn't feeling very well and decided to head home after I finished my tour of the Cathedral. But I did see something on the way back to the train station that made me laugh for a good minute straight, and I just have to share it with you...

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