Monday, July 26, 2010

By the Beautiful Sea

Sorry it's been awhile. I've been busy with finals and final papers . . . I'm still working on my paper, but I think my final went well (hurray!). I have new classes now, too. I know I have some catch-up to do, and a requested blog post, and I will get those done ASAP. But I'll start with Saturday's adventures:

I headed out to Norwich and Cromer with some friends on Saturday. Norwich is in Norfolk, which is in northeast Great Britain. It’s about an hour train ride away from Cambridge.

We arrived in Norwich, and headed to the cathedral, which was beautiful. All of the people in our group who had just taken the Gothic Architecture class were analyzing the arches, and it was fun to listen to them discuss that. The cathedral was beautiful. There was an outdoor labyrinth area where you could “meditate, pray, or just have fun,” and we decided to follow the last suggestion. We took lots of pictures, and Jen and Christina had a “labyrinth race.” One started from the center and the other from the outside of the maze, and they raced to see who could get to the other side first. Jen won, I believe (and she was on the outside of the maze).

Norwich Cathedral

We also saw the chapel and the cloisters. They were beautiful. I especially liked the stained glass windows, and some original paintings from before the Reformation. I also really liked the bosses (which is a ceiling decoration . . . a knob on a vaulted ceiling where the ribs meet). The bosses were decorated to show different Bible stories. It seemed like they had everything. They had the Creation, Noah’s Ark, the life of Christ, and also scenes from the Book of Revelation.

Inside the Cathedral

We also saw (and smelled) the herb garden. It was lovely. I kind of matched the garden because I was wearing my purple-flower cardigan and the garden was covered in lavender. Hehe.

I blend right in

We saw Norwich Castle after that. It was a museum—a very interactive museum, which was fun. We got to play dress-ups and turn waterwheels and ride a horse . . . it was fun. But the museum didn’t just have castle artifacts. It had almost everything you could imagine: jewelry from Ancient Egypt, an exhibit on Boudica and the Romans, a wildlife area . . . it was pretty cool. The museum just kept going and going and going . . . but it was nice, because you could never really get bored.

Playing dress-ups. I'm the oppressed peasant.

Norwich is also known for its antiques. There’s a street called Elm Hill that is beautifully quaint. There was a used bookshop there that we visited. I didn’t get anything at the bookshop, but I fell in love with it. There’s something comforting and charming about the smell and feel of old books. There’s almost a reverent feeling walking into an old bookstore.

We also got a chance to go to the sea! We rode the train to Cromer (about an hour out of Norwich) and got to dip our toes in the sea. It was beautiful—the sun was shining, but it wasn’t too hot; the wind was blowing, the air was ripe with the scent of the salty sea breeze; the water wasn’t too cold. We took lots of pictures, which was fun. And we ate ice cream while walking in the sand. It was a glorious afternoon.

Beautiful ladies by the beautiful sea

I also had my first fish-and-chips! I do like seafood, but I was a little nervous because I had heard that fish-and-chips shops were either great or terrible. Fortunately, this one was great. The cod was deliciously greasy, and the chips were moist. We were all expecting to feel sick afterwards, but I don’t think anyone did. They were just really good fish-and-chips.


We got back late . . . when we got back to Norwich, the bus we needed to catch had just left and we had to wait until 10:45 to get the next one. So we sat in a pub/inn, ordered some brownies, and just talked. It was fun; the whole day was just a good day. Being surrounded by friends and laughter cheers the heart.

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