Monday, April 21, 2008

Chawton-Winchester, continued

As we wound our way back to town, suddenly, in front of us was the sign for Winchester Cathedral, and we had wandered in through a side entrance. It felt like we had walked into a fairy tale! We were in awe. I can’t begin to explain the splendor.
By this time we were pretty well soaked through, and the cathedral was closing. Once before we had paid an entrance fee to run through a cathedral with ten minutes left until closing, so I opted not to this time. I was content to have found it accidentally in the first place, and at the end of my Jane Austen Odyssey, have found the place where she is buried, and amongst such grandeur. She was much beloved. And I am not sorry. It felt so beautifully surreal that I really want to leave my memory of Canterbury Cathedral just that way, and not muss it up with dates and facts, and anecdotes.
On our way to retrieve our car, soaking wet, in the rain, we ran across a Farmer’s Market of sorts, it was in the middle of a modern mall. That was the only thing modern about the Farmer’s Market, though. I wanted to buy fruit, but I was totally intimidated by the farmer/salesman/barker yelling quotes to the patrons over my head, and with an accent thick enough to slice, so that I scarcely understood his instructions. I decided against, but Sam has some bit of experience at these things. In response to my exclamation, “I just want to walk up and hand him what I want, and pay for it.” Sam explained, “They’re more interactive here.” So he took my order, and went over to deal with the vendor, and fresh fruit was ours. (While I took refuge under an awning.)
My hero.
So… we bought coffees, and made our way back to our hotel with our fresh produce, so that we might try to get a little rest before we start out tomorrow. That will be the longest day of driving yet. We will drive about three hours along the south coast to Canterbury.

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