Friday, May 20, 2011

Wells - official post

Hello to everyone on our last day in Bath!

We had quite the lovely day today, as we managed to only get a tiny misting of rain for about 5 minutes while we were in Wells! We had a bit of a lengthy bus ride to get there, but when we did, we saw a couple beautiful sites!

The first place we went to was the Bishop's Palace. This is where the Bishop of Bath and Wells currently resides. It was a beautiful structure on lovely grounds! We had a tour guide take us around the building and tell us about some of the rooms and places we visited. Our guide took us to the ruin of the dining hall. The roof had been taken down so the king could use the lead for bullets and such during times of war. After that, a later bishop turned the dining hall area into a garden, using the ruins to make it beautiful. We toured the Well that provided the city with it's name. It was super cool! When we had finished touring the grounds, we got to walk through part of the building. We saw the cope that had been made in 1901 for the royal coronation ceremony. It was lovely! (For those of you who may need or want some clarification - the Cope is a decorative, almost cape looking thing that the bishops wear). We saw the portrait of the current bishop - he is also the first bishop to have his wife in the portrait with him! They both did a lot of work within the cathedral there.

When our tour was finished, we decided to break for lunch before going to the cathedral for Courtney's tour. This was where the group has learned to become flexible - as another unfortunate event was added to our list of things from the very beginning of the trip. The east end of the cathedral was going to be closed at 1:15 for a memorial service - which we were unaware of until about 12:30 or so. Most of the group was around the cathedral area, and had gone in for the 'indoors' part of Courtney's tour. Sadly, a few of us had not been with the rest of the group, and didn't get that memo until about 1. We were all able to go in and explore the cathedral for a bit before we had to leave, which was very nice. The Wells Cathedral has a beautiful Chapter House, with quite the interesting staircase leading to it. It was simply beautiful, and I can try to add a picture later when I have the means of doing so to show it off for you.

We all broke for an actual lunch break at this time, since most of the group hadn't had time to eat prior to this. When we were finished eating, Courtney talked about the outside of the cathedral a little, describing some of the statues on the outside of this incredible structure. We also went to see the Vicar Close before we departed for the bus station. It was a lovely medieval street that was connected to the cathedral.

When the tour was finished, we headed for the bus station to endure that long ride back to Bath. Many of us slept for a bit on the bus, while others were entertained by the dog that one lady had brought on the bus with her. When we got back to Bath, we had a free evening to go get dinner, relax, get caught up on journals, and to pack before we depart for Cambridge in the morning.

We've had lovely weather so far! Today we only had about 5 minutes of a sprinkling/misty rain, and then sunshine and warmth! I was actually outside without my sweatshirt today!

I hope everyone back home is having a wonderful May, and that you're enjoying the blog!


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