Canterbury, England

Canterbury Cathedral

Trip Taken: 2008

“The Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer is what I think about when the word Canterbury is uttered. A knight telling his tale to his fellow travelers. But this isn’t a blog about literature. This is a blog about travel and I headed to Canterbury one cold February day.

I was visiting my cousin, who lived in Winchester. Funny story. I had the address for her dormitory and couldn’t seem to be able to find it. I just kept walking until I found a road that sounded a lot like her street but instead of circle it was street. In any case, I interrupted a nice Englishman in the middle of his nap. He was wearing long johns when he answered the door.

Setting out from Winchester to Canterbury wasn’t hard to do. Just transfer at London station, Waterloo or Victoria. I was have this weird feeling like I am stepping into a novel when I am in England. Something just doesn’t seem natural with the quaint quality everything seems to have. It was compounded when I stepped into Canterbury. Walking through the old town seemed like I was wandering through a modernized medieval guild quarters. But that’s not quite it either. In any case, I went directly for the star attraction, which is the cathedral. Stepping inside the cathedral, I forgot what it was like to step into an imposing Gothic building like that. It’s hard to describe the awe and humility you feel when you feel so small in this large open space.

I walked around a bit and actually was part of a tour. I apologize to the old ladies giving the tours at the cathedral, but skipped out on it halfway through. Most of the history was too minute and just went over my head. I walked around the cloisters and the castle grounds before having some simple fish and chips for lunch. I was planning to head to Dover next so I left my first stop in my English adventure before the sun even got comfortable in the noon sky.

Parting Words

Canterbury is a small town with not much to do. Like many other English towns I visited, there were more souvenir shops than actual sites. Plus, walking around in the cold winter weather didn’t help.

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.