Saturday, June 13, 2015

England: Canterbury


Today we were in Canterbury. We arrived yesterday evening at our hostel. We ran around exclaiming joyfully about the sheer number of outlets and the WiFi. It had been a long few days without them. 

This morning I went on a run through some of the residential neighbourhoods of Canterbury. I was in my running clothes and my calves were bare in my capris. For some reason I felt like a giant galloping next to all of the tiny, perfect English homes. I felt gangly and as though in my stalking along I was about to run right over a tiny British couple which would likely pop out of a rosebush or something. 

That didn’t happen, of course. But I still felt big. Once my mother told me that I had calves like a colt. Not my favourite analogy and I have never got over it, but I felt that way today. Oh well. 

Once everyone else woke up we had breakfast and classes. We walked into Canterbury to see the cathedral. It was stunning. My sketches are trite and foolish. They do not do it justice in the slightest. 

We saw the place where Thomas Beckett was martyred, just like in the play we read called Murder in the Cathedral. 

My favourite part was the crypt. It was in Romanesque style. The pillars were low to the ground and stout. Some dusty sunlight came through the basement windows and illuminated the barrel vaulted ceiling. It felt tomblike. Come to think of it that’s probably because it was a tomb…But what I mean is that in the whole cathedral it was the place with the least amount of visitors and the place where I felt the most reverent. 

We talked at dinner about the way churches are being used as tourist attractions. One girls said she loved the way that every hour the English cathedrals say a prayer over a loudspeaker system. Every cathedral we have been in so far has done this. It is a reminder that while we are touring the place and appreciating its history, it is still a functional house of worship. Tomorrow we will go to a worship service at the Canterbury Cathedral. 


Here are my sketches from today:

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