Monday, July 13, 2015

England 2015: Day 6--Salisbury and Its Cathedral

This was our day to see churches much grander than the parish churches we had seen up to this point, specifically...the Salisbury Cathedral.  Sometimes you have to see both in order to appreciate either!

So, we headed out to Bradford on Avon to catch the train to Salisbury, not quite an hour's ride away.

Chris joined us for the ride and once we arrived in Salisbury...ALAN joined us (bottom right).
What a great surprise.  Another Shutterchancer to make our day!

And as we walked through the city to the cathedral, we started spotting the Barons,
celebrating 800 years of the Magna Carta (more on that later).

 Since our goal for the day was the Salisbury Cathedral, we wasted no time getting there.
Its main body was completed in only 38 years, from 1220 to 1258.
 It's spire is the UK's tallest at 123m/404 ft.

You could spend an entire day studying the outside only.  Seriously.

How can you resist these fellas?  But who are they trying to scare?

 True to English form, we first went to the cathedral's café for coffee break.
It's so Dutch, too.  So European, I guess?

Then Astrid and I were off to the Cloisters, 
following the signs to the Magna Carta in the Chapter House.
What is it about cloisters?

And there it was: The original copy of the Magna Carta from 1215, 800 years ago.
If you don't know the history, this is where the Barons come in!
You betcha that we both signed the book saying we saw it.

But even apart from the main attraction, the Chapter House is its own delight.
Notice how the NICHOLAS cushion grabbed my attention.

 Now we were ready to enter the cathedral proper, at the west front.
Those first moments always take my breath away.

Almost immediately you see all the fuss at the new baptismal font from 2008,
celebrating the cathedral's 750th anniversary.
Talk about a work of art!

Along the long nave towards the altar, it was easy to get distracted
by transepts, vestries and chapels...

 ...and statues and tombs,

and more tombs.

But by the time we reached the quire/choir, we knew we were close.
Actually, for me the quire is often the most soulful place in a grand cathedral of this size.
Was that because I sang in church choirs all those years ago?

Here you see the long stretch from the entrance to the altar,
through the quire (top and middle left).

All the way back to the entrance we found the world's oldest working clock, from 1386.
It has no face and no hands but strikes a bell at precise times.
And guess who made it?  3 clock makers from Delft, NL!

You know I found cushions, of course.

And plenty else... well as people watching.

How's that for an overview!

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 Then it was time for lunch near the Poultry Cross (market cross).
"Open your mouth wide and I will fill it!"
And we did.

How fun, then, to see another church but on a much smaller scale.
This is the St. Thomas Becket church from the mid-15th century,
most known for its Last Judgment or "Doom" mural filling the chancel arch.

And of course, the old wood.  The chairs.  The hymnals.  The cushions.

  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 Walking through town was a smattering of impressions, as always.
You know me and architecture, especially the half-timbered/Tudor buildings.

And the weathervanes, of course.

Eyes wide open.  Short of eyes.

 It was a day from beginning to end, shared with fellow friends who are important to us.

Who knew this would happen when I first joined Shutterchance in 2006!
It's become quite a community of friends, sharing our love of photography.
THANKS TO FRIENDSHIP:  Lisl, Chris, Alan...and Astrid, who became my wife because of SC!

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I put this up on Facebook yesterday:

"15 years ago today he came into my life and world and changed me forever. 
And on Friday he comes from Atlanta to visit us here in the Netherlands. 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Nicholas J. Grannan. You're the man!"

There's only Day 7 left to get done before he comes.
I'm off-n-running.....


  1. Astrid is such a stitch! Wonderful friendships are the best! Enjoy your grandson...can't wait for the photos!!

    1. Astrid IS a stitch. She still makes me laugh...every day! What is life without laughter!!! Thank you for knowing, dear Robin.

  2. I agree, Astrid is a hoot!

    How sweet to share all these places with dear friends, who become dearer in the process.

    Nicholas is precious! I can imagine your excitement!!!

    1. As I already told Robin, Astrid makes me laugh every day! I have a feeling we'll both die laughing. :)

      And yes, these friends become more special with each passing year. We are very rich, having them in our lives.

      And Nicholas...we can hardly stand the waiting....

  3. A day not laughed is a day not lived. It is like a fairy-tale, buy a camera, get a picture-blog (Shutterchance) get new friends, get a wife..... who would have thought that we ended up having these great trips in England with 'local' guides.... An amazing day with so much to see, with great company. It does not get better than this. Maybe I should, maybe it will get better on Friday, Nicholas joining us here in The Netherlands, what a joy that will be.
    Absolute fabulous pictures, there is no way we can just look and don't take pictures, it is too much to remember. Now we can come back to the pictures and rejoice the moment. Thank you MLS.

    1. You nailed it...all of it. EXACTLY. And THANK YOU!

  4. You have brought back memories of my stay in Salisbury last year. You have captured some great photos.

    1. Thank you, Cherry. You can be so proud of your country!

  5. Now you are walking in my footsteps and Constable’s. Thanks for reminding me. Your photos are lovely. I hope you didn’t pass up the other beautiful cathedrals you passed near: Winchester, Exeter, Plymouth....

    1. I know you love these architectural wonders, Ted, and no wonder. We have been to Winchester but not yet to Exeter or Plymouth. Maybe in a year or two because we plan to go back to Cornwall. Exeter is the airport for arrival and departure!

  6. Could you two be any cuter? Astrid is a hoot, I agree. It comes through so clearly in these photos-:) My Paddy makes me laugh every day. What a gift it is. Ginnie, I loved the architectural details. I've never been to Salisbury and now I need to go. I recall a guided trip to Notre Dame once in which the scholar/guide talked to us about these cathedrals serving as religious "books" in essence for Medieval people who didn't have any other way of really learning the religious stories of their faith. Seen in that light, going around the cathedral, studying each really seen the stories unfold. Marvelous trip you are having! (Had rather) Hope you have a blast with Nicholas!

    1. Laughter really IS the best medicine, Susie, isn't it! What would we do without it. It would take me many lifetimes to see what I want to see in England alone, let alone the rest of the Netherlands. Maybe I'll live in England in my next life? HA! But, yes, it's been a marvelous trip...all of it. And now we can hardly stand waiting for Nicholas' visit....

  7. How wonderful details your eyed discovered in Salisbury! I like your collages very much. What a surprise to meet Alan! I was surprised i na similar way when I met Alan last year, although I had a silent feeling that he could eventually come to meet Chris and Lisl. Now you are preparing the first visit of Nicholas in Nederland!

    1. Oh, yes, Philine. It was such a wonderful treat to have Alan with us. Chris and Lisl are good at surprises like that. And Salibury was such a great place to share with him.

  8. Well you can see all the fun you had at this magnificent spot...I love how you always share those food breaks....

    1. Thank you, Donna. We LOVE the food breaks, so I just have to share them. :)