Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Taylor Umland "official post" May 10

Hello all!

Well, it's nice to finally be able to post to this thing while on the this trip! I tell ya, reading through some of the other posts, I'm not sure if I am going to able to top those but I will certainly try to give you the full account of our wonderful group over the last day and what a day it was!

The morning started out with a lazy morning breakfast that was WONDERFULLY prepared by the expert cooks of Amanda and Nicole. The feast ranged from eggs, toast, and yes, grilled cheese! Everybody ate to the fill and the day was set to begin.

We caught the 1000 bus to Hereford which was about 45 minutes to the south of our current location, Leominster. The bus was PACKED! Tom and I were forced to stand and we weren't the only one's. Upon arrival, Dr. L gave us some slight background on the city and off we were to the Hereford Cathedral where Saundra was set to give us a wonderfully information tour.

The diocese of Hereford began all the way back in 676! The original wooden church was destroyed after a Welsh invasion in the 11th century and the construction of the cathedral that we know today began in the late 11th century. The cathedral was b-e-a-utiful! There was and abundance of stained glass and even though it was one of the smallest cathedrals in England, it spared no expense. The Roman and Norman architecture worked together without as much as a hiccup.

Also housed within the Hereford Cathedral was the Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library. The Mappa Mundi was a map of the world that was illustrated on a single piece of lambskin in the 13th century. It was a theological map as opposed to a geographic map so Jeruslaem was located in the center. I would highly suggest checking out the piece of art for yourself (http://www.herefordwebpages.co.uk/mapmundi.shtml). The chained library was created sometime within the 17th century. It was a library that put every book on chains and bar making it possible to read but impossible to take any book within the collection. The reason for this is because the books are considered so valuable that every precaution is needed to protect the sacred texts. To learn more about this, please visit: http://www.herefordcathedral.org/visit-us/mappa-mundi-1/the-chained-library.

Upon the conclusion of our tour, Dr. L lead us to a Cider Museum which was highly interesting. It lead us through the history of cider making in the English world and the importance in played within the Hereford area. It ended with a free sample of cider made right in Hereford which was a delicious treat!

After that, we exhaustedly returned back to Leominster and we again treated to some great culinary wonders, this time for Dr. L and Karen as an appetizer before dinner. We were welcomed back an array of cheeses, smoked mackerel, bread and olives. Then, the boys headed out for some roughhousing in the courtyard. :-)

We all hope this message finds you in good spirits, I know we certainly are!

Until next time,

Taylor Umland

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