David's Monkish Meanderings 2010 travel blog

The culprits?

Ely Cathedral

The Octagon

The Octagon from below

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 3.82 MB)

Music in the Lady Chapel


Saturday 29th May, and time to leave London for Norwich. I planned to stop off at Ely to see the cathedral.

Clearly some British train drivers were comedians in a former life. Between Cambridge and Ely the train stopped in the middle of nowhere. "Ladies and gentlemen, please accept my apologies for the delay. We have some employees working on the line ahead of us, trying to clear some swans which have apparently taken up residence on the track ...". General smirks are exchanged between passengers. A few minutes pass. "Once again ladies and gentleman I do apologise for this delay. We now have the RSPCA running around on the track in front of us. I'm beginning to think that if this was any other country they would just run them over ...". More time goes by. "We are still waiting for these swans to be cleared. I think the plan now is that we're waiting for them to die of old age!" Half an hour after stopping we are on our way again - the British do have a soft spot for animals it seems.

It was raining in Ely as I trundled my case through the town looking for the cathedral. Summer in England!

A slightly damp wedding party on the green marked the spot and I gratefully took shelter inside and enjoyed some hot soup before looking around. Highlights were "The Octagon" - built after the Norman tower collapsed in 1322 ...

... and some beautiful choral music in the Lady Chapel, supplied by students I recognised from the extended time we shared in the aforementioned swan-impeded carriage ... [the video clip is very brief but gives the vibe]. The "Lady" herself - the bright blue figure in the window, was added in 2000, and to me looked more like something out of a superhero comic than the Virgin Mary - but then perhaps the latter was a superhero in her own way!?

Then it was time to trek back through to the rain to the train, and on to Norwich ...

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