Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Canterbury Tales

I toured Canterbury today!  It's in the southeast of England, and famous because of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales."  Here's a map:

This was one of the excursions arranged by the summer school.  We had a three hour bus ride each way to get there, and we were in Canterbury for about five hours.  Apparently we're in the midst of an English heat wave -- it was HOT, and most restaurants and buildings don't have air conditioning... and neither did the bus!  

When the bus dropped us off, we all walked to the Canterbury Cathedral together.  It was grand and gorgeous!  Here are a few photos:

Even though I don't consider myself a very religious person, it was quite humbling to experience such an old, sacred place of worship. (Melissa - I thought of you.  You would have loved it!)  After visiting the Cathedral, we were on our own to explore the town.  Our next stop was lunch.  After some sandwiches in a cafe, we went in search of a river boat tour company called "Canterbury Punting Co."  We got lost a few times finding it, but we made it and went on the punting boat tour.  It lasted about 40 minutes.  Here are a few pics:

The river was beautiful, but I was a bit disappointed because we didn't get to see much on the tour.  I was hoping to get a more comprehensive tour of the city, and this tour really didn't provide that.  After the boat tour, we visited the Canterbury Castle, which is the ruins of a Normal castle that was erected in 1066 as one of three royal castles of Kent.  It was built along the route of William the Conqueror.  Here are a few pics:

After poking around the ruins, we made our final stop at St. Augustine's Abbey.  Unfortunately, we didn't have time to tour the Abbey, but I was able to snap a photo or two:

Then it was back to the bus and back to Oxford!  All-in-all, a great trip to Canterbury!

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