Autumn '06 Adventures


Ryan Air offers some very cheap flights to the UK from the nearby town of Rodez, so we decided to spend 10 days in England in October. We started in Cambridge, went north as far as Lincoln, then to Suffolk and Essex. We were struck by how much more expensive things were in England - hard to find lodging for less than $80-90 a night (vs. $50-60  in France). Meals were similarly costly.

Canal du Midi

Punts on the Cam - Cambridge

Boating on the Cam is a popular pastime in Cambridge. Unless you know what you're doing, it's advisable to hire a guide to pole the boat along. Tourists occasionally end up clinging to the pole in mid-river after the boat has moved on!

King's College - Cambridge

One of several colleges that make up Cambridge University. We attended a service at the King's College Chapel and heard their famous choir.

Ely Cathedral

A short distance from Cambridge, Ely has an impressive Gothic cathedral. Ely also was the hometown of Oliver Cromwell.

Maze - Ely Cathedral

Supposedly, if you trace around this maze one foot in front of the other, you will take exactly the number of steps as the height of the cathedral tower in feet.

Castle Acre Priory - Norfolk

Well-preserved ruins of a medieval monastery. The village also had the ruins of a Norman castle and a nice pub, where we ate a wild duck dinner.

Boats - Norfolk Coast

There still are quaint fishing villages on Norfolk's north coast. Many bird watchers also, as the migration season was in full flight.

Lincoln Cathedral

Another impressive Gothic cathedral, as seen from the nearby tower of another former Norman castle. The cathedral recently was used in filming some scenes for The DaVinci Code.

Steep Street - Lincoln

Lincoln's cathedral and castle are on a hilltop, and a steep street - appropriately named Steep Street - climbs up from the town and river below.

Framlingham Castle - Suffolk

Unusual in that it consists of a circular wall (quite well preserved) with no central keep.

Ramsholt Arms - near Woodbridge, Suffolk

We had a good seafood lunch here overlooking the water. The pink color is very typical of the area and was originally created by mixing oxblood into the paint.

Willy Lott's House - Flatford

One of the most famous scenes in England, John Constable painted 'The Hay Wain' here in 1821.

'The Hay Wain'

How it looked in Constable's time...

(from the National Gallery website).

Half-Timbered Houses - Lavenham, Suffolk

There were many half-timbered structures in this town, most distorted into odd shapes by the passage of time. It almost looked as if the buildings had been frozen in place during an earthquake!

Harbor - West Mersea, Essex

More seafood - here we ate fresh local oysters, clam chowder and a local English wine that was quite good.