Saturday, 4 January 2020

Churchill Way East – Churchill Place (Basingstoke, England)

Looks like another fine day in this part of England. I was out of the flat a bit earlier than yesterday and made it through the shopping mall to the station without taking a wrong turn. Then a short wait before the train to Salisbury arrived at the station.

I like booking train reservations online, though it does cost an extra 75P for the processing charge. Then when I show up at the station I use the barcode from the confirmation email to get through the gate to the platform. Also no waiting in line at the station to purchase a ticket and physical tickets to manage.

The journey to Salisbury was about 40 minutes and the path to the cathedral was easy to follow. There were two ways to get to the cathedral so I’ll take one going and come back the other way. From the station, off in the distance, the distinctive (and very tall) steeple (spire) can be seen. The spire is the tallest in Britain.

Once I arrived at the cathedral I took a few pictures, making sure I was able to capture the whole building. It is just about the same size as Winchester Cathedral. Since this was Saturday there were a few more visitors but not too many.

I had a chance to speak with one of the guides as I entered the cathedral. He was very informative and pointed out some places in the cathedral that I might find interesting. The only name I knew who was buried in the cathedral was a former prime minister, Edward Heath, who lived in Salisbury. The guide pointed out that this cathedral was built about the same time as Winchester’s cathedral but was finished first. The steeple (spire), later added and increased the weight from above, has played havoc with the support of the cathedral roof.

The cathedral’s original clock (no longer in daily service) is the world’s oldest working clock and now on display on the ground floor. Who knew? The highlight of my tour was seeing an original (reissued) version of the document. A guide, who was stationed at the exhibit, was generous with his time and explained how the document isn’t just one piece of paper written and signed, but reissued and adopted. What I saw was the a version from 1215. Now I must find out more. (Another project for me.)

At this point I was very satisfied with my outing today. Between the Winchester and now the Salisbury Cathedral, I’ve learned so much about the history of England during this period. These are more than religious cathedrals, but contain much of the political and social history of these (medieval) centuries as England was becoming a unified country.

I took the alternate route back to the station and discovered another side of Salisbury. This district is distinctly different from what I saw earlier when I walked to the Cathedral. I walked by canals, stately homes and parks on my way to the station. It was during sunset and took a number of pictures of the landscape and the setting sun.

It was dark when I got back to the flat, and because I didn’t have any lunch, I warmed up leftover spinach ravioli and Bolognese sauce for a quick meal. Later I fried a hamburger patty (with a slice of cheddar melted on top) and again used the leftover sauce.

I still haven’t heard back from the Airbnb host about the TV and wonder how this will play out once I leave. It would be easy just to leave and move on but since I rely so much on previous guest’s comments before I book, I wonder what I should say in my review. But I can decide later what to write. I’ll just continue to watch Merlin on my laptop. Here I am on the 10th floor and grateful that the lifts work.

I’ve decided that I won’t go see Stonehenge tomorrow. I’ll return to Winchester to see the castle’s Great Hall since I wasn’t able to get in yesterday.

I’ve let my Airbnb hosts in Poundbury (Dorchester) know of my arrival time. They offered to pick me up from the train station and I gladly accepted.

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