12 Oct 2008 - Canterbury, England

After the excitement of the previous day seeing Saxons and Normans in combat on the Battlefield of Hastings, I paid a penance for my glorying in violence and made my second pilgrimage to historic Canterbury.

I had seen many of the major attractions on my last visit which meant that this visit was less of a monument ticking exercise and more of a relaxed and less scripted one though that's not to say that some ticking went on.

The Canterbury Tales visitor was visited again and is an entertaining place as it tries to recreate a medieval environment and the visitor is taken on a 'pilgrimage' where they hear some of Geoffrey Chaucer's tales as told by his fictional pilgrim travellers in the 14th century - and what good tales they are! Some funny, some serious, but all with a worthy message.
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Canterbury - Canterbury Cathedral Gate

Canterbury - Canterbury Cathedral Gate

The gate to one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England, known formally as The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.
Canterbury - Greyfriars Chapel and garden

Canterbury - Greyfriars Chapel and garden

Almost in the centre of Canterbury and behind the Eastbridge hospital is a surprisingly serene garden setting where can be found the Greyfriars chapel. The chapel can be seen to the left of the photo and Canterbury Cathedral can be seen rising up behind the trees in the distance.
Canterbury - Canterbury Cathedral from Greyfriars Chapel

Canterbury - Canterbury Cathedral from Greyfriars Chapel

In the grounds of Greyfriars Chapel is also the River Stour although this is more like a stream. Still, with the trickle of water and right weather, this tranquil setting, only about 100 meters away from the bustle of the city centre is a good place to relax and get away from the crowds.
Canterbury - Greyfriars Chapel

Canterbury - Greyfriars Chapel

Greyfriars Chapel is the only building now remaining of the first English Franciscan Friary built in 1267, forty three years after the first Friars settled in Canterbury, during the life time of St Fancis of Assisi. Sitting on the river Stour and set within wonderful gardens, it is one of the prettiest and quietest spots in the city.
Canterbury - Daizy's in the garden

Canterbury - Daizy's in the garden

Pretty even when frowning and thinking, 'get that camera off of me'.
Canterbury - The Canterbury Tales, pilgrimage begins

Canterbury - The Canterbury Tales, pilgrimage begins

Chaucer's story is tale about a group of medieval pilgrims who set out on a pilgrimage from London to Canterbury to pay their respects to the tomb of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The host of the pilgrimage proposes that they all tell stories to each other along the way and the person who tells the best story will have his way paid by the rest of the group. The tour begins in the morning in an 'inn' as the pilgrims are about to begin their journey.
Canterbury - The Canterbury Tales, the journey

Canterbury - The Canterbury Tales, the journey

The visitor is taken though a reconstruction of 14th century England with an audio guide telling the story and setting the scene. The 'journey' takes the visitor through medieval streets and locations relevent to the stories which are told. It is an entertaining experience and the kind of place that children would love though I pity the parent who has to explain what 'taking a woman forcefully' means.

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