Ely Cathedral

Ely Travel Blog

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The West Tower of the Ely Cathedral

We went to Ely (ee-lee) to see the cathedral this weekend.  You can see the cathedral WAY before you get to Ely, the tower dominates the area.

When we got into town we had to park about a half-mile away in the public parking lot.  It's a very nice walk through the town to the cathedral. 

Right at the parking lot is a public restroom.  The public restrooms here, I've noticed, are very clean and very well kept.  I shudder to think what would happen if someone tried to put an unlocked, public restroom next to a public parking lot back in the states.

As we walked we passed a little garden shop.  Actually it was a few shelves and tables with plants and herbs.  The prices were written on little tabs of paper.

OK, for those of you who enjoy eating curry but didn't know, this is the curry plant. It's what gives curry it's "curry" flavor.
  What you do is select the plant/herb you want, then put the money into a little metal box on the corner of the table.  That sort of "honor system" so wouldn't work back home.

As we continued our walk into town we passed a couple of coutyards where the fruit trees would dangle their branches over the walls.  If you'd have wanted to, you could have sampled apples, plums, and pears during your walk in.

Once you get into the center of town you can get your first good look at the cathedral tower you've been eyeballing on your way in.  The church is beautiful.  It's all old stone and stained glass windows.  You really appreciate the masonry and stonework it took to put this together.  I spent a lot of time looking at the intricate carvings and just shaking my head.

The main hall. At the far end is the alter. Around the corner from the alter was the choir. We could hear them singing.
  Come to think of it, I've shaken my head at a lot of the stonework and carvings in old buildings throughout Cambridge.  It is incredible the amount of work they put into the detail, and this was using the tools that they had five to a hundred years ago.

Anyways, as I said earlier, the cathedral is so beautiful.  Once inside the whole place just emanates calm.  It's very quiet inside, as you would expect.  The main hall is huge, the ceiling looks like it's four of five stories tall.  And the ceiling has artwork painted on it.  Inside is a place for you to grab a quick bite, and a little suovenir store with trinkets you can buy.  The main hall charges admission, about five pounds I seem to remember (we didn't go), but you can wander through the other parts for free.

During the walk in we passed this window with a little gnome in it, mooning us.

Once everyone had expolored the cathedral to their satisfaction we left the grounds and walked around the town a little.

There was a wedding going on at or near the church.  A Japanese couple were tying the knot.  One of the Japanese girls was dressed in a Kimono and looked very elegant.

Just off the cathedral grounds were two girls posing for pictures in front of a cottage.  We don't know if they were part of the wedding ceremony or not.  Brenden thinks they were Russian models.  They were indeed "photogenic".

We asked directions to a place called The Firehouse Pub.  It was supposed to be one of the better places to eat in town.  When we got to it, it seemed to be "busy" (for lack of a better term).

My silhouette in front of one of the stained glass windows.
  I'm not sure but I think it had been booked for the wedding reception.  Anyways, no Firehouse Pub for us.

So now the dilemma "Where do we eat?"  We got into the "Where do you want to eat?"  "I dunno, where do you want to eat?"  "I don't care, where do you want to eat?" circle for a little bit but finally decided to just wander through town and see where we ended up.

Well we ended up walking through the main part of town towards the river.  We seem to always gravatate towards water.  I think it's because we know there'll be restaurants there.  We passed by a Scottish Chocalatier shop and naturally fell into it.  The prices were very reasonable, you got about six chocolate truffles for three-four pounds.

momma goose and her babies
  The Scottish lady at the register was very friendly and chatted with us for a little bit before directing us to continue towards the river and along the river to find good food.

We left the chocolate shop and continued through town, looking in the shop windows at all the "local stuff" they had for sale.

Down near the river was what I call "The Domain of Geese".  There were about thirty geese (and some baby geese) just wandering around like they owned the place.  Someone had put down some goose food for them so most of them were busy having dinner.  Because they are used to people feeding them, they were kinda tame and would let you walk pretty close to them.

Along the riverside were lots of boats, boathouses, party boats, etc.

  Some of the boats looked like people were living long-term in them.  Some would have large bottles of water stacked up on the deck or laundry strung accross a line.  Because they were tied right next to the walkway you could just look right into a lot of the boats.  You could see their little kitchens, with dishes and bottle of wine on the table.  You could see people sitting inside on couches, reading books.

We continued walking until coming to a place called Cutter Inn.  The service was pretty good.  The hostess was able to seat us right away, although she did tell us that it was going to get crowded around seven-thirty.  We decided to have mushrooms with garlic and butter served on local bread.  The bread was orange.  I was going to ask about it but forgot about it.

For dinner we decided to try the ribs.  I had seen baby back ribs on menus here before but always thought "What do non-southerners know about bar-b-q?"  It turns out the ribs are OK.  Not anything to be concerned about, as a southerner, but they did a pretty good job on them.

After dinner we began the long walk back to the parking lot.  The day had come to an end.  Ely was a nice place to visit.  I can't wait to find another town to explore.

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The West Tower of the Ely Cathedral
The West Tower of the Ely Cathedral
OK, for those of you who enjoy eat…
OK, for those of you who enjoy ea…
The main hall.  At the far end is …
The main hall. At the far end is…
During the walk in we passed this …
During the walk in we passed this…
My silhouette in front of one of t…
My silhouette in front of one of …
momma goose and her babies
momma goose and her babies
holy socks!
holy socks!
by the way, if youre a Pink Floyd…
by the way, if you're a Pink Floy…
Ely
photo by: Vikram