Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wales: Day 21 My Canterbury Tale

5:55 am departure time from the Cathays train station in Cardiff. Painful. But once again, we were all so excited to be going to Dover and Canterbury that we did it with a smile. :) We connected in London, and after a brief scary moment on the subway (not scary for me) where Tom thought he lost me, we were on the road again.

Dover Castle is probably now my third favorite behind Raglan and Usk. It's enormous! It's right on the coast, so the view is incredible. It is also on a huge hill, so the hike was somewhat daunting, but hey, the higher the destination, the better the view. Right? That's what I've learned here. Maybe I'll be able to use that analogy in a sacrament meeting talk someday.

Along with awesome castle construction, it also includes a Saxon church and a Roman Pharos (lighthouse). It was built by Henry II in honor of his grandfather, William the Conqueror.

We had key timing and were able to participate in a re-enactment of some "court proceedings" in the Great Hall. Prince John (yeah the evil nemesis of Robin Hood) took a particular interest in me. I was spittin' game until my director, Tom, interfered. He was such a babe, too! Freak. What a waste. No worries though. We rendezvoused after the court proceedings and tour of the castle. Let me just say. They may call his brother Richard the Lionheart, but from what I've seen, John is the animal. (Just kidding. Kind of.)

Hopped back on a train for a 15 minute ride to Canterbury. Ever heard of Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales? Well. The pilgrimage providing Chaucer with material was made famous by Henry II, after his knights brutally murdered Thomas a-Becket in the Cathedral. The Pope was so pissed that he excommunicated the entire country until Henry completed a highly publicized pilgrimage and did other stuff for absolution.

The city of Canterbury was super busy. It was a Saturday and they had little festivals and things going on. Downtown was pretty cool though. We had some free time so we finally took advantage of the nearest Shake Away. These shake places are everywhere here and people FREAK OUT about them. I'm not crazy about milkshakes so hadn't made the Shake Away detour in any of the other cities, but as it was a Saturday afternoon, we were exhausted and it was a little too crowded to fight our way through the packed streets, I thought it sounded pretty fantastic. I got a Toblerone shake, and WOW. Very delicious. It wasn't like our milkshakes at home. It was actually a MILKshake. Not an ICE CREAM shake. It was mostly liquid. Milk, a little ice cream and some crushed up Toblerone chunks. MMmmmmmmmmm. Who in the United States decided that milkshakes should be crazy thick? No. If I want to eat something with a spoon, I'll turn to my beloved ice cream. This was amazing. Maybe I'll try to make one when I get home. Won't be as good, but definitely worth a shot.

We braved the crowds and shops for a bit after our delicious shakes. I bought an awesome dress! I got lucky and found a super cool little black shift in a chic boutique downtown, so I capitalized on the situation. Yahtzee.

We went to the famous Canterbury Cathedral for Evensong at 3:30 ish. This cathedral was AMAZING. The architecture was so elaborate and intricate, and I couldn't tear my eyes away from the stained glass. This was also the best Evensong we've been to. The combination may have combined to produce my opinion. This was the best cathedral experience ever. Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures inside, but it was just amazing. Trust me.

We connected in London again on the way home. I had my little heart set on seeing Phantom and I was getting all geeked up for it. Unfortunately, the trains to Cardiff weren't running late enough. :( We just came home instead.... but it was ok. We were crazy tired and had church in the morning. Had the trains been running we wouldn't have gotten home until like 2 am. And I get to see it on our free day in London in a week and a half. No big deal.


  1. I love Toblerones. I think they're freaking great. I'm so proud of my swiss ancestors for creating something so wonderful... And no wonder the Tobler name carries with it a little extra junk in the trunk.


  2. Hi Danny, I to heard evensong at Canterbury Cathedral with Aunt Jan and Grandma. They got in trouble for going over a road into an area they were not supposet to be in. So Grandma will remember that cathedral. I'm really enjoying reading about your experiences in Britain. Love you Aunt Kathy P. S. eat some HobNobs for me.