Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 Canterbury
I forgot to mention yesterday that I was very proud of my parking...yes...it was I that got in and out of that spot with only a few extra moves! You probably wondered what in the world those photos were all about. We were only parked there for five minutes as we discovered we were in the wrong area of town for the Salisbury Cathedral and had to move the car...then found a parking lot that was very easy to park in as well as an easy walk to the Cathedral.
Back to today......
I shared a room with Barbara last night and we woke up about 8 am. Nancy, who’d had her own room last night complete with terrible smells (there were no other rooms), came up about 9 am and we went downstairs together to protest the bill that had been tucked under the door. First of all about 10:30 pm last night…the FIRE ALARM went off! False alarm and they apologized with a letter under the door within an hour; they said that someone was smoking in their room and that is what activated the alarm??
Then this morning’s bill charged us for the breakfast which had been promised to be complimentary because of the problems with the rooms last night. So, since I was getting those charges removed we decided to give it a go for some credits on Nancy’s room. They were very nice and gave us a 60% credit against the charge for her room because of the odors. So overall it turned out to be a reasonable price for what we got!
The breakfast was really wonderful and well worth the price. And, we had a wonderful room so I could recommend the hotel if you have occasion to stay at a Premier Inn. By 10:30 am we were in the car and on the road. Weather wise it is very cloudy but dry. During the day we had a few sprinklers but nothing serious. We had the hotel call Windsor Castle to make sure they were open today for touring; turns out the Queen was there this weekend and all of the state rooms are closed. So…change of plans and we’re heading for Canterbury.
Along the way we saw signs for Leeds Castle and Barbara said that it was really beautiful. Nancy, in the backseat for a change, did some reading in the books and decided that yes, it would be a good castle to see.
Arrived about 1:45 pm and really enjoyed our visit. We rode with Barbara in the Handicap Van to the castle; enjoyed the tour and then we walked back to the entrance while Barbara rode in the van back. The grounds were nearly as pretty as the inside of the castle. No one said a word so I took lots of photos you’ll enjoy. Notice the black swan on the lake; they were so beautiful, a nice change from the white swans.
While I think of it…Jim will enjoy knowing that we are listening to classical music as we drive; seems to come in better on the radio. Also, in Europe they have the ability to break into your radio programs with traffic information regularly. And, it’s about four times louder than whatever you’ve been listening to…can be very jarring!
Back on the road we missed the road that we wanted and ended up on about ten miles of road like we had last night in the rainstorm, but not nearly as bad in daylight and no rain. We came upon an accident just before we arrived at Canterbury. See the photo we snapped as we went around them.
Drove into Canterbury…still daylight…so nice…but ended up on a dead end street at the edge of the pedestrian way. Nancy said she’d stay in the car and off Barbara and I went in search of a hotel. Found the Tourist Information Center next to the Cathedral and first went to the Cathedral Gate Hotel….very old, winding twisting steps and the mattresses looked like they were made of straw. Prices were good and the clerk was wonderful but Barbara could not handle the tower type stairs. Back to the TI and they found some rooms at the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. We got the last two rooms and tomorrow Nancy and I have to change rooms but we’ll be here for two nights! It’s within the Cathedral grounds…FANTASTIC.
I went back to find Nancy and the car; she was beginning to wonder where we were…the car alarm went off three times while she sat there. Not sure what caused it as she had the keys with her inside of the car. She was very happy to see me and then we backed the car out and found our way to the parking for our hotel which is also within the cathedral grounds. More photos tomorrow as it was dark by the time we had finished checking in.
Off for a walk and night shots of the Cathedral; by the way we all have fantastic views of the Cathedral which is lit at night with floodlights. They are repairing one section but that seems to be the norm in Europe. Decided on dinner at La Trappiste Restaurant and I enjoyed fish & chips with a pint of beer.
Right now I’m sitting in a wonderful paneled library on a soft leather couch with free wifi that works very well. Last night I had to pay three pounds for thirty six minutes. We’re looking forward to two days here in Canterbury; hope that you’ve enjoyed our day.