|Cathedral Stained Glass Window|
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A Day in Dover
A Day in Dover
After crossing the English Channel from Le Havre we docked in the port city of Dover in the County of Kent. We ordered breakfast again in our room and then we joined our group for the Canterbury Cathedral and Town. I know you remember Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from English Literature. This is the place where Chaucer got his inspiration. My recollection of Canterbury Tales is that it’s about pilgrims and their journey to see the Cathedral.
Here is the condensed history of Canterbury. In 597 AD, Pope Gregory the Great sent a monk, Augustine, to England as a missionary in Canterbury. He didn’t want to go because he heard that the people here were barbarians. The Pope told him if he went he could be England’s first bishop and with that as a bribe Augustine established a Christian church in Canterbury. Zoom forward to 1170 when Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral. You might wonder who could murder an Archbishop in a church. This is England and King Henry II sent four knights to answer the King’s question, “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”
Soon after miracles were said to take place and the Cathedral became one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage centers. The Cathedral is still very much a working, living church where Services take place every day. For millions of Anglicans (Church of England), the Cathedral is their Mother Church. Our guide for the day, Dick Bolton, is a deacon in the church and attends every Sunday.
Our tour bus left the port of Dover and drove west about 30 miles to Canterbury. After our guide gave us the Reader’s Digest version of the Cathedral we set off on our own to explore this magnificent Gothic church.
Wandering the streets of Canterbury we found of all things a McDonald’s. It gave MA a chance to catch up on her FaceBook postings with the free wifi. After having French fries and coffee, yes, French fries and coffee, we found the old Anglican church of St Mary’s. We went inside and of course took several photos. It is not the scale of the Cathedral but still a very old church.
We found a nice English pub where we saw that most of the people were having lunch. This made us hungry so we decided to make our way back to the town square and catch a shuttle bus back to the ship. We just finished a light lunch with coffee at our favorite 5th deck café. We buy these coffee cards, 15 special coffees for the price of 10. We’re working our way through the menu! Just checked the dinner menu, prime rib tonight! Oh well! We can count calories later next week back in Houston!