Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mind the Gap 8 (London & England Trip)

Today: Winchester Cathedral, which is in Hampshire, England, and is one of the largest (and I think oldest) cathedrals in the world. Attended the Sunday service there, or as much as we could stand; we left during the communion. The Cathedral is very goth and pretty interesting architecturally, and is where Jane Austen is buried. There's a nice plaque and window dedicated to her. The Cathedral is in the town of Winchester, which also contains The Great Hall, a medieval structure that is home to The Round Table of King Arthur, a hoax perpetrated by Henry VIII, apparently, but impressive nonetheless. It contains the names of all the knights of the round table in mostly unreadable gothic script and a nicely imagined portrait of Arthur (see link). Periodic drizzle while we toured the town.

Later, returned to Reading for some downtime, then went by "coach" (bus) to Henley-on-Thames for a dinner cruise with the Reading U. group, the final event of the reunion. This was the part of the Thames where the Henley Regatta is held. Lots of impressive river-front cottages and houses along the way, and the boat went through some river locks. Nice, although it rained off and on. Back to the US tomorrow.

By the way, there was a hit song (!) about Winchester Cathedral in the 1960s, which was recorded by Petula Clark, Frank Sinatra, and Rudy Vallee, among others. Here are the lyrics.

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