Today was an easy sightseeing day. Because I didn’t want to be jetlagged, I went to bed at a normal time last night and tried to catch up on my sleep a little. Because of that, I slept for about 11 hours, which doesn’t give much time for exploration. Our plan was to go to Lincoln Cathedral, which I hadn’t seen when I was here last because of the graduations and then walk down steep hill and buy some cheap makeup (I’d left all of mine at home).
So, we had lunch at home and caught an afternoon bus into town. We wandered into the cathedral around 2:30 and bought our tickets, but then discovered that there was a free guided tour at 3 and I just couldn’t pass that up. So… we did a little shopping (I got a colorful necklace) and then returned. The tour was excellent.
We learned all about the history of the cathedral and all of the accidents (fire, earthquake, collapsing towers, etc.), but the cool thing was the strange idiosyncrasies in the design and building. The current cathedral was mostly built in the 12th and 13th century but it was meeting up with an earlier facade (the one in the picture above); there were some small miscalculations. If you look at the central vault, it is off center from the older, front wall. Also, there is more showing on the left side than the right.
There were some great carvings. One was of dragons eating grapes off a vine (symbolizing the devil attacking Jesus) being fought by a man with a sword. On the opposite side of the doorway was those same dragons hanging upside-down (symbolizing) victory over the devil. Closest to the door are a pair of owls. They also symbolized evil; the message was “Don’t get to cocky, holy people, evil is EVERYWHERE!”
Other parts of the cathedral are the rood screen, the organ (on top of the screen), and the altar. The screen is neat because apparently in the Middle Ages it was brightly colored red, blue, and gold. Unfortunately, the Protestants witewashed over the whole thing and then when the Victorians tried to remove the whitewash, they took all the paint and gold leaf with it. The Victorians ruin EVERYTHING!
We left the cathedral and were freezing and starving so we had a cup of tea and some food at the pub outside (The Magna Carta) and wandered down the hill. We went into Boots right before they closed and I succeeded in my makeup quest, so tomorrow I’ll look pretty in Durham. 🙂