Monday, May 19, 2014

Day Trip: Canterbury, UK

Actual date of this event: 20 April, Easter Sunday

A few weeks ago, my friend Lauren visited us for the week (full recap coming soon). As much as we love London, we always ask our visitors if there is a nearby town he/she/they want to visit. The chosen day trip during Lauren's visit was Canterbury!
{Canterbury Cathedral}
Luke and I had never been to Canterbury before, and I had heard it was a cute little town with a beautiful cathedral. We chose to go on Easter Sunday due to the fact that we went to a show on Friday night and didn't want to wake up early on Saturday after a later night out. I did all of the research to make sure everything we would be interested in visiting in Canterbury would be open - fortunately, most everything in and around London is open every day of the year except Christmas and Boxing Day. BUT unfortunately, our day trip was a cold and rainy one! We did as much as we could though. We started with a visit to the Canterbury Tales Museum... remember those famous tales by Chaucer that no one wanted to read in high school? We stepped back in time, and followed an audio guide through various rooms that displayed different stories. The museum is quite small, and we went through in small groups. I am very curious as to how they run the place if it is busy due to its size... oh and the quirky/hungover reception guy who broke the card machine... <sigh> ... <giggle> ...

Lauren, Luke and I discussed which tales we remembered from school - I remembered (sorta) only one, Luke remembered just a few, but Lauren remembered almost all of them. She is a cheater though because she teaches language arts :-) Anyway, Canterbury is quite close to the English Channel aka France and Belgium, so several restaurants in the town had a French/Belgian influence. We ate at La Trappiste, and somehow we all passed on getting any Belgian beer.! We wandered to the gates of Canterbury Cathedral next.

Ooooh-la-la, this place is gorgeous! It was one of the prettiest churches I have seen! (Note: Luke and I have wandered into a few different churches recently, and they have all been stunning!) This counted as going to church on Easter Sunday, yeah? It used to be a Catholic church, so yes, I think it does count.

The cathedral has A TON of history. Canterbury Cathedral is currently the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury (leader of the Church of England). The stained glass windows were very bright despite the non-existent sun outside, and it was very peaceful inside.

After exiting the cathedral, we wandered around the grounds for a bit. We came across some ruins, visited a few courtyards, and at one point, we could hear the famous choir practicing.

But then it started raining. I initially wanted to take a little tour along the river because I passed it up in Oxford, and then it wasn't available in Cambridge due to the time of year. We walked toward the river, but it began raining so hard that we had to duck under a tree for a few minutes. There was no way I was going to punt down the river!

Our shoes were soaked and our so-called rain jackets were not enough to keep us dry, so we moved as quickly as possible back to the car to head on home. We were really unlucky in terms of weather during our day trip, but the beauty of the cathedral more than made up for it!

The Church of England formed in 1534 under the reign of Henry VIII when the Roman Catholic Church denied his annulment to Catherine of Aragon, so he could marry Anne Boleyn.

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