Monday morning, 26 August 2019; exactly two months have elapsed since our arrival at Redcliffe Square in London and we feel satisfied with what we have experienced in that time. London has grabbed our heart strings even more on this visit and we are not ruling out another extended stay some day. It is a Bank Holiday in England so no rush hour traffic. Jim walks 2.5 miles to Sixt Rental Car Battersea/Vauxhall to pick up our wheels for the next 25 days. He requested a manual transmission MINI but they only have two with automatic transmission. Big disappointment but probably a blessing as driving on the left side of these narrow roads is more than enough for an old man to concentrate on.
First stop on this peregrination is the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire which is 80 miles north of London. Of interest to us is that it is listed as the 9th least populated city in the UK. We chose to stay at a very quaint Bed and Breakfast called Cathedral House as it was merely steps from our main focus of the day: Ely Cathedral. As we motored in our MINI Ely Cathedral appeared on the horizon as a “ship of the fens” as it lies atop the highest rise of this flat reclaimed marshland. They still call the tiny city of Ely an island as it used to be surrounded by wetland.
We focused our entire day here on exploring this magnificent Anglican structure.
After climbing the shorter Octagonal Tower we proceeded to another tour of the West Tower, climbing 288 steps. We were immediately behind our tour guide and every time he stopped to rest we were immediately behind and so he kept going. When we arrived at the top we were at least a minute ahead of the rest of the tour group and our guide was worn out and very sweaty. Of course we were the oldest people in the group.
We intended to finish a blog each evening but a long day in church and slow wifi made a hash of those plans. We are now five days behind.