Monday 14th. October, 2013 – Back to Berwick for another Adventure 

The Market Square in Canterbury

Up early this morning to walk Mix, have a shower and be driven to Berwick in time to catch the 9.11 train to London. This train was an ‘East Coast’ and compared to last week’s ‘Cross Country’ felt extremely old. One had to open the window and lean out to open the carriage door. It was also less well cared for. Last week, every hour or so someone came along collecting rubbish (mostly generated by the very welcome refreshment cart); this week there was no such collection and refuse gradually built up as the journey progressed. Interestingly, the food on the trolley was more expensive as well -- £5 .25p for a BLT sandwich and Fanta as compared to £4 .95p. On such differences are reputations built.

The train was twenty minutes late (point failure at Peterborough -- I feel like Reggie Perrin) but I still had plenty of time to walk from King’s Cross to St. Pancras Station which is the height of luxury and more like an airport terminal than one’s everyday station – shops, restaurants and wide boulevards.

St. Pancras Station

I recollected that many years ago my father’s first job was in an office within the wonderful frontage of St. Pancras. My father started in the property and land department of the railway company which was based here and if it hadn’t been for the war then this might have been his base for many years.

The train from St. Pancras deposited me in Canterbury in the middle of the afternoon. I navigated to the cathedral using the tower as my guide – it was only ten minutes walk through the little streets and alleys of the medieval city. The picture at the top of this entry shows the city square. This picture is of the entrance to the cathedral:

The entrance to the Cathedral

I was surprised to discover that it cost £9 .50p to enter the cathedral precincts as a visitor. As one who was expected I didn’t have to pay but it is quite a hefty charge for a family to have to pay to visit church (of course, no one has to pay if they are going in to the cathedral for a service).

I checked in and as I was a bit early I went for a wander around the town. I saw one of the city gates:

One of the city gates

I also bought fish and chips which I ate leaning over this little bridge:

In the centre of Canterbury

Back at the cathedral conference centre I met up with my colleagues – Alison from the Green Pilgrimage Network, Berit from Norway, Per from Sweden, Chris – a very distinguished environmentalist from England, and Kevin from St. Albans. We were hosted by Caroline from Canterbury.

After sorting out our accommodation we went into the cathedral to share in a service of Choral Evensong led by a choir of twenty boys and twelve men. It was a very lovely service. We were then taken for a very superb meal in the cathedral dining room, beautifully served and an excellent meal: salmon and vegetables, followed by a desert and washed down with wine and coffee.

In the evening we all went out to one of the old public houses and enjoyed a couple of beers and incidentally got much of the work done for tomorrow while we sat with our beers!

Walked back and I caught this picture of the flood-lighting on the walls of the cathedral:

The Cathedral by Night

Was soon fast asleep.


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