Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good Day Monday

10/15/2007 - Monday morning, and we are ready to get going! After breakfast our last morning at the Jesmond Dene, Haley and Mary return to the room to pack and organize. I decide to jump back on the tube back to Covent Garden to do a quick bit of shopping at the London Disney store and the Quicksilver Surf shop. Walked through the Marks and Spenser department store and then headed back to King's Cross to meet up with the others.

On the agenda for today is going back to Heathrow via the tube to pick up our rental car and head out toward Winchester and Salisbury.

First stop was the picture perfect town of Winchester and its beautiful cathedral. Mary and I walked the length of town to where the ruins of the Great Hall remain to see King Arthur's round table, which was a copy made in the 12th or 13th century, but it was closed.

It was time for lunch, so we found a picturesque sandwich shop upstairs over a side street and went up for an afternoon tea. The home-made soup, sandwiches and warm scones accompanied by a steamy pot of tea were just the thing after all of that walking in the misty air.

We were interested to see where Jane Austen was buried right in the middle of the floor of one of the aisles of the cathedral. It was fascinating to see the memorials and burial stones in the floor of the church dating back to the 1400's and 1500's and some even older. Jane Austen's stone does not mention that she was a famous author, only that she died in the town. Intricate crypts are up and down the aisles jumping the centuries, but many of the marble memorials in the floor and being worn away by time and feet.
It was incredibly solemn and beautiful in the cathedral as the Eveningsong services began, and since tourist season was past, we had it almost all to ourselves except for a few townspeople attending the service. It was very easy to imagine people coming through the door and hearing those same words every evening for centuries.

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