Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 40 Canterbury

We arrived in Dover at 6:30 am and were off the ship by 7:30 am. We went back to the Ramada hotel, even though we had great difficulty using the shower.  It was the most complicated shower I have ever seen.  First it was difficult to get the shower, rather than the tap into the bath to work, then to get warm, rather than cold water.  Eventually, after many trials and errors we were not sure how we got it to work but we could not turn the water off.  We told the guy at the desk and he just said someone would turn it off the next day.  So, we closed the bathroom door and let the tap run.  They do not seem to have a water problem over here.  We picked up our hire car and drove to Canterbury for the day.  This is a lovely town where people have to park their cars on the outskirts of the town, and only buses and taxis are allowed in the town proper.  It was graduation day today in Canterbury, so we saw many young graduates in their mortar boards and gowns.  As the graduation ceremony was actually in the Cathedral, we could only see the Cathedral from the outside.  The town was reminiscent  of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the Cathedral, with its spires was where Thomas a Beckett was murdered.  We walked around the town, which was a pleasant thing to do since there were no cars to worry about.  We punted down the river Stroud and each time we went under one of the low bridges, we had to lower our heads.  Overhanging this river, we saw the chair that was used in Tudor times to lower nagging wives into the river so that they had to keep their mouths closed.  It was also used for punishment for en who did not provide for their wives and families.  It is evidently the source of the saying “His business has gone down the gurgler”  Pilgrims came to Canterbury in pre reformation times, and we saw much evidence of Dominicans and Franciscans here at that time.  After the reformation, when their lands and buildings had been taken from the monks, the pilgrims stopped coming and money became scarce.  Heugenots, fleeing from France, then came to Canterbury and started up such industries as weaving.  Christopher Marlowe, the dramatist, lived in Canterbury and was baptized in the church here in 1564.  We saw beautiful gardens within Canterbury.

No comments:

Post a Comment