18 April – Arrival in Winchester.
Greetings all. After a flight from Comox to Vancouver, a long wait in Vancouver and an overnighter on an acceptable Air Canada flight, we arrived only slightly travel worn in warm sunny England. The lineup to get through immigration took one and a half hours. Painful!
We had a charming young customs fellow who couldn’t tell Pat from Marianne from their passport photos. We gave him a slightly hard time so our lengthy time in line ended with laughter.
Despite being much later than anticipated, Liz was still patiently waiting for us! Her parking during all this time cost more than £10.00! The drive to Winchester was pretty quick, just over an hour. The roads here seem so crowded and of course being on the other side of the road takes getting used to!
We found our very nice apartment which is right across the road from the cathedral. Cold beers at the Old Vine pub were the first order of the day. Nothing like chasing a sketchy airline breakfast with a beer. We followed refreshment up with a short wander around the cathedral. This is of course in the old part of town so the streets are narrow and the buildings crooked and quaint. The cherry and magnolia trees are in bloom, as are the tulips.
We’re told this is one of the first nice days this year! Aren’t we lucky to have it as our first.
We all nearly fell asleep over a delicious dinner. Sally didn’t, she’s been here for four days already so is mostly over her jet lag and she’s gone for an evening stroll. The rest of us are going to be in dreamland very shortly. As I write this, the glorious sounds of the pealing cathedral bells are serenading me through the open top floor window. It’s a joyous ringing and I’m happy to think they ring for us four who are about to start our pilgrimage to Canterbury.
We’re hoping to see frolicking lambs (although Marianne consumed the better part of one as her dinner this evening), bluebells, sunny skies, historic places and perhaps the ghost of Mr Chaucer himself.
For now good night from the shadow of Winchester Cathedral.