Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Norwich excursion


With many of my classmates choosing to blog insightful, scholarly entries regarding Julian and Margery,  I decided to focus on the events of our excursion to Norwich on Monday. It was a wonderful journey to the far east coast of England, into the quaint, yet historic town of Norwich. 

more after the jump

After a long train ride, one filled with bacon and sausage sandwiches, kitkat bars, and sodas to fuel our day, well mostly my day, we arrived at Norwich. Our excursion would lead us to two key places--the cell of Julian (pictured below), and the Norwich Cathedral (also pictured below). Both were amazing places, as we walked in the footsteps of layers upon layers of history.

her cell
Julian's cell was different than I expected, and rightly so. Much of it was remodeled after the war destroyed its original foundation. The current window is much larger than the previous, and the floor was lowered a few feet. The original structure must have been much smaller, which is astounding considering the current space is quite tiny to begin with.  Outside Julian's cell was a small yard, a space which would have been where Julian's many guests would have congregated, as well as some sort of grave that has seen the name of its occupant faded over the course of history. 

After a very nice lunch, which for many of us consisted of elderflower cordials, and delicious vegetarian food, we explored around town before our trip to the cathedral. While the group separated--some going off to explore the various little shops, and my group, which traversed some "questionable" alley ways, we all ended up crossing paths in a little chocolate store with incredible deals. The 100g of broken dark chocolate, all for just 1.55, held much of us over during our walk to the cathedral, and on the train ride home. 

During this trip we have been to some amazing cathedrals and churches-- likely some of the best in the entire world-- including Westminster Abbey, Canterbury, Christ Church, and for me, while I was in France, Notre Dame. The Norwich Cathedral was, in my opinion, one of the most spectacular of the group.  It was truly breathtaking. The architecture featured mostly pale colored stone aligned in Romanesque patterns, with a few pinkish colored stones in the foundation. Our guide noted that during a major fire, which destroyed the original roof, the limestone that was affected by severe heat turned pink.  The roof contained some interesting biblical scenes inscribed in stonework, from the garden of Eden, to Noah's ark.  Our tour concluded with a walk into the cloisters, and surprisingly onto the grass which contained a labyrinth. 

noahs arc and garden of eden scenes
the cathedral
Overall this was a great excursion, and one of my favorites of the bunch. It is truly amazing to walk in the footsteps of the many people we read about and study, as well as take in the various historical sites that could so easily go un-noticed. As Hannah blogged about a few days ago, England contains such a rich history, " the churches that we visited are examples of this idea: that London is living its history even today.
This was something I was trying to "digest" on the train ride home, along with my poor diet for the day.  We are constantly reminded that we are walking in the shadows of antiquity, that although many of the landmarks we pass have been altered from their previous form, usually due to damages from war, we are in essence walking in the footsteps of those who came before us, and I'd like to think contributing to history itself. 

Kiley trying to decipher the tomb

etching on julians window

the cloister with labyrinth

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