July 28, 2014 – Canterbury – Dover – Battle – West Drayton (London).
From my journal:
Our last day!
Morning in Canterbury. Packed up after breakfast at the hostel.
Emma and I walked to the Cathedral, and along the way I talked about three things that make Canterbury a big deal. One, it’s where Augustine came in 597 to evangelize the English. Two, the archdiocese became the head of the English church. Three, I told Emma the story of Henry II and Thomas á Becket, how his martyrdom in the Cathedral, subsequent burial there, and sainthood made it the most important tomb and pilgrimage destination in England.
She seemed interested, okay?
The Cathedral is fantastic. Besides Thomas’ tomb, and the site of his martyrdom, I was also glad to find the tombs of Anselm and Lanfranc. One of the staff was kind enough to first to verify that Anselm is buried in his chapel along with Lanfranc, but to also give me a photocopy of a couple of pages from Anselm’s biography, covering his burial.
Why did I care about that? I don’t remember.
After the Cathedral it was 11:00 and we decided to walk the center until meeting L & E rather than try to rush over to the Abbey. I got a postcard and some stamps. We met up with them in a store. They shopped while I sat, wrote a card, stamped it and one I already had, and dropped them in a mailbox.
I got a mocha at SB and we all walked to the car.
We drove to the white cliffs of Dover. Climbed a hill for a view of Dover Castle, then hiked over to some views of the cliffs.
Then we drove to Battle.
– Site of the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066, and the Abbey William built to commemorate his victory.
Elyse, Emma, and I walked the long trail around the battlefield to and through the Abbey, to the first location of the High Altar – which marks the place where Harold Godwinson fell.
Last, I walked through the gatehouse museum.
Then we left and drove to our hotel in West Drayton near Heathrow. After checking into rooms, we walked up the street and ate at a pub.
Saw one of the most splendid residential gardens along the way. I snapped some photos of it the next morning, but I don’t think they will have captured the magic.
Days 61 & 62 / July 29-30, 2014 – West Drayton – Heathrow – Home.
From my journal:
In the morning Laura drove the car to the agency to return it. We caught a free shuttle to the airport and met Laura there 20 minutes later. Bought food for the flight.
We left Heathrow about 20 minutes late. In Philadelphia, the better part of our 2-hour layover was spent in Immigration and Customs lines, but we had just enough time to eat (10 pm London time) before boarding – 5:30 eastern time.
The plane left over an hour late because a new federal regulation requiring the balancing of cargo necessitated returning to the gate after we were already out on the runway. Even so, the pilot seems to have made up most of the time.
The most scenic descent I’ve ever seen: just after sundown, orange and blue layers of hills, Mts Adams, Jefferson, St Helens, and the forested hills and the Columbia beneath the wings. Beautiful!
My home town, Portland. TD 9:17, deboarded at 9:30.
Our awesome trip is over; we’ll be home soon. Thank you , Lord!