Friday, September 21, 2012

Canterbury Tales

They say time flies when you're having fun, which I guess is how I come to be writing about my holidays on the fifth day back at work after them... Mind you, "they" also say that cats would by Whiskas so I'm not sure "they" are the most reliable of sources. We were only actually away for three nights in the first week of a fortnight's break, which added to the two nights we spent in Northampton earlier in the summer for a wedding gives me the huge total of five away from home since we got back from Canada in Jan 2010 but they sure were what we both needed.

So after much decision making and thinking of thoughts we plumped for Canterbury as a nice place to visit. Joan had never been before and I'd managed one afternoon about 20 years ago when my Brother was there at university. Funny that I never went down to visit him now I look back on things, but there you have it. It is a beautiful little city with the reconstruction following the World War 2 bombing not too jarring alongside the survivors. My particular highlights:

The Cathedral. Natch. I'm no believer but I can sure appreciate the architecture, artwork and sheer history of the place. And even more than that, I appreciate them allowing photography inside. So many "historic" buildings of whatever stripe are so dead set against it that the exceptions are always a joy to explore through the lens. Click through the shot above to get to flickr if you feel that way inclined.

The Heritage Museum. If only because it houses the original Bagpuss and friemds, as well as some Clangers, Pogles and Ivor The Engine/Noggin The Nog art. Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's Smallfilms productions are the childhood tv memories I treasure most and being in the same space as these was a moment of pure magic for me. The rest of the museum is also pretty interesting as it goes, and is worth getting the combined ticket for the Roman museum too. That one is not worth the single entry fee, but as an add-on is not to be sneezed at.

The big theatrical mask sculpture outside the Marlowe theatre.

The buskers.

And, the Beaney house of knowledge and art. Which has just been refurbished and houses the Library, Tourist Information Centre and a great collection of local and internationally significant art. Without realising it we were there on the second day of the relaunch so got up close and personal with some excellent Henry Moore sculpture as well as, well, loads of other great stuff. And it is free entry too. Worth paying a visit to Canterbury for.

We also paid a visit to the old Dockyards at Chatham and took the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch railway to Dungeness. Both fascinating places in their own ways and all contributing to a really great break. Roll on the next holiday.