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Dec2010
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For at least the next year we’re in the UK, we’re hoping to have a long weekend away every month. In September we were setting up our new house and getting to know Cambridge and in October we went to Oxford. So the next trip in November, we decided to go south to Canterbury and Dover.

Going on a Roadtrip

It’s about a 2 hour drive down that way of the world, taking the M11 then the M25 and finally the M2. It was a pretty stunning ride down, though there was some traffic on the M25.

Stuck in M25 Traffic

Yep. We ground to a halt for about 20 minutes. But then we were driving again and going over the Dartford Bridge.

Dartford Bridge

Until we got to Canterbury. Now Canterbury is a beautiful beautiful wee town that I would recommend anyone visit. Dover, not so much. But that’s another blog post. Canterbury still has most of its old old achitecture all the way through the CBD, including its impressive cathedral.

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Cathdral Faces More Little Faces

The architecture of the cathedral is early Gothic, so the booklet says. I just love all the little faces, wooden bosses, and cloisters (like in Diablo!)

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Cathedral Heights Cloister Faces

Unfortunately, the Nave was *closed* because of a graduation ceremony, so we could only see the Quire and the Crypt. But they were both still fascinating.

The Quire

An Angel Inside Beautiful Windows

Crooked Stairs

The cathedral is a huge structure. This shot below shows the stretch of the ceiling from one end to the far side. More the pity we couldn’t wander to the far side ourselves.

The Length of the Cathedral

I was intrigued to see an HMS Canterbury bell hanging inside. It reminded me of the HMNZS Canterbury bell that’s up at Te Rawhiti Marae. Neato coincidence!

HMS Canterbury bell HMNZS Canterbury Bell at Te Rawhiti Marae

The cathedral is full of little memorials and chapels which are so beautiful and decorative. The crypt below is very sombre but intriguing. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, but I loved the the remanant painted ceilings from when the churches used to be filled with colour!

The cathedral was amazing, but we’ll have to go again when the Nave is open so we can see the full beauty of the place. We did go see another smaller piece of ancient history in Canterbury – a Roman house.

A Roman Corridor

This ground used to be the corridor in a Roman house decorated with mosaics. It also used to be flat centuries ago. Most of the house couldn’t really be preserved, but they found vases, jewellery, a bath house and more. But the mosaics were my favourite part.

Roman Mosaics A Roman Mosaic Preserved

The house must’ve been quite flash, because it had under floor heating!

Roman Under Floor Heating

Our final activity in Canterbury which we enjoyed very much was going out to celebrate our 11th anniversary. We went to busy wee restaurant called Deeson’s in town. And why did we pick it? Because they served oysters and mussels. Yummy!

Oysters at Deeson's Rope Grown Mussels

But how we paid for this meal was pretty special too. Years ago, my Dad’s aunty would send Matta and I christmas money as presents. Aunt Madge has passed away now, but we thought it’d nice to use her gift for our celebration. So, a big thanks to Aunt Madge for the generous gift. Our 11th anniversary was on her.

Aunt Madge's Gift

Before we jumped in the car to head down to Dover, we had a quick squizz at the city walls. They may not be a dinky as the York ones, but we still an interesting piece of history – protecting Canterbury from the Frnech and whoever else were attacking England over the years.

Cantebury city walls

Defenders view Attacker's View

Cantebury is a beautiful city I’d recommend anyone go visit. We’ll be going back again, preferably in the summer.

Stay tuned for images from Dover and Leed’s Castle in our next blog posts.

Liz

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