Canterbury, England


July 8-9, 2000

Like a sailor back from a journey at sea, Katie was here to welcome me back to England, where I don't feel comfortable calling home, even though it's the only the second country that I've slept in the same bed for one week straight. Walking around most of the wall surrounding most of the older town while trying to find each other gave a birds eye circle view of the edges.

The city doesn't have an ancient walled city feeling, but the cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered still stands perfectly as it did for many medieval pilgrimages and immortalized by The Canterbury Tales. St. Augustine replaced the existing church in 597 with the starts of this after converting the English to Christianity.

Any bataphobe would feel fine walking near the nearby abbey, which didn't survive, but was just as splendid and certainly more mysterious than the cathedral. I suppose any place where monks and nuns practice repeated daily rituals over and over would be a place worth exploring, but the whole thing's been levelled, by King Henry VIII. Remember I mentioned him in Dover Castle? Here's the result of the scandal with his wives: the church didn't approve, so he destroyed many great places, like this abbey, snagged the gold and had the brick sold off as scrap building material.

I hear the archbishop of Canterbury has been the top dog of the Church of England for centries and still is. He must be pretty old.


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