|Goodbye to Earl's Court|
|In the train|
My mom tried driving first, but pretty soon she decided it was easier to tell me what to do, and I did all the driving after that. She would warn me if I was drifting too far left, which I did a lot in the first few days, and so on. It was a great help to have another pair of eyes on the road.
Our plan was to check in to our B&B and then drive out to Ely to see the cathedral, which was not very direct, but we didn't want to try to find the B&B in the dark if we were out late. So first we drove to the village of Hemingford Abbots, which name would seem impossible to live up to. To American eyes, at least, it turned out to be an impossibly lovely village, with nice houses (half of which were thatched), winding lanes, and a general air of idyll. Our B&B was named Riverside, and it was the only B&B we stayed in--it was our splurge, and more than worth it. It really was at the riverside, the owners were lovely, and the whole thing was just like something out of The Wind in the Willows, or (more accurately) The River at Green Knowe. My girls were thrilled--well, we all were!
|The river behind our B&B|
After checking in, we drove out to Ely on a nice freeway. Parking was tricky; our car was large enough that it didn't really quite fit into the average British parking spot. I spent a lot of time looking for large parking spots, preferably in a corner, with nobody nearby for me to scrape.
We walked over to the cathedral, and I was eager to go in--but it was now 3pm, we'd had no lunch, and the girls threatened to revolt if we didn't feed them, so we got sandwiches at a shop, and a good thing too, because Ely is a demanding place.
|The nave (from the center)|
|Towards the quire|
|View from the galleries|
|The roof (Lead! Just like in novels!!)|
|Inside the tower, you can see these massive beams holding it up|
|The angels open like doors!|
|On the tower roof!|
|Ladder up to the bell chamber--doesn't look fun|
|Huge Lady Chapel|
|Behind the altar, you can see what's left of the medieval paint|
|Seriously, it's massive|
|With handy benches all around|
|Mama duck and babies!|
|This is just flowers growing out of the wall. We saw it a lot.|
|Back inside--the altar|
- British drivers are VERY BRAVE. Especially the bus drivers, who swoop by each other with few inches to spare.
- I think Cambridgeshire was the only place we drove that didn't usually have giant hedges along the sides of the roads. You could see out over the very flat land, which wasn't true for much of the rest of the time. The hedges are pretty, but scary because there's not a lot of room for pulling over. I live in a rural area with a two-lane highway, but with the wider lanes and shoulders it's about four times wider than a rural British two-lane highway, and the cars are going about the same speed.