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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:03 pm 
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Lán de Grás
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Here's a close-up of the cliff it overlooks:

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Looking back at the harbour:

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The castle from farther away:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:09 pm 
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Two more shots of the castle, looking very dramatic as it guards the cliff:

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So, that's my encounter with Dunottar Castle. Who knows if my life path will ever lead me back there again so that I can actually go inside? But if you're ever in that part of the world, I'd say it's definitely worth a visit - just plan your timing better than I did!

Perhaps I overestimated how difficult the hike was because of the state of my foot. There's also an easier, but less scenic, route by walking by the side of the road ("Coastal Tourist Route"). You can also probably take a bus or a cab from Stonehaven town centre. I stayed in a hotel right by the rail station, but if I ever go back, I think I would choose a hotel down by the harbour because of the views.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:34 pm 
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I enjoyed these photos very much. Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry you were not able to go inside!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:50 pm 
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Ditto to both!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:20 pm 
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Lán de Grás
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Glad you both liked them!

I'm still slooooowly extracting my photos from my mobile, and today you get to see... Canterbury Cathedral!

Canterbury Cathedral from the outside, that is, because I had spent most of the day exploring Battle Abbey (remind me to tell you about Battle Abbey some day) and by the time I reached Canterbury, the Cathedral was closed for visitors. See what I mean about my timing?

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These beautiful old buildings look solid and permanent, but they require constant upkeep to stay safe and functional. Witness the scaffolding here. Witness the many ruins I've visited all over the UK. And witness the recent disaster in Paris.

Incidentally, while in Rochester Cathedral, we noticed netting spread above us near the vaulted ceiling, right above the choir. There were many small pieces of masonry lying on the netting. You don't want a chorister to be hit by a falling piece of rock - the ceilings are so high, even a tiny piece could do a lot of damage.

Anyway, back to Canterbury Cathedral:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:21 pm 
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More Canterbury Cathedral:

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 12:01 am 
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Here are two shots of Battle Abbey - William I built this to commemorate his victory in 1066:

(edit for unclear language: he built it in 1070 to commemorate his victory of 1066)

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 1:17 pm 
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Beautiful, Jude! Netting above the Rochester choir sounds like an excellent idea. I can imagine performances would be sub-par with choristers worried about being hit from above.

Battle Abby is looking quite green. Is that unusual?

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 11:21 pm 
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I believe that's a trick of the light, possibly reflecting from the field outside. Here's what the outside looks like:

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I wanted to visit this area ever since I read that William I had built a church on the exact spot where Harold II was killed. I hadn't realized, and it wasn't clear from my research, that the church was destroyed in 1538 along with the dissolution of the monasteries. However, much of the abbey that grew up around it remains.

Also, there is a stone that marks where the church altar originally stood. This would have been the exact spot (as identified by eye-witnesses, but from four years previously) where the body of Harold was found:

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And here is a view over the town from the top of the gatehouse:

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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 4:10 am 
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Oh, what a beautiful view!

My English history is sadly lacking, but I googled Harold II. I wonder if it was in tribute to his adversary that William built the church, or more of a tribute to his own victory, or perhaps he had a sense of history, or it was a combination of all.

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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 3:31 pm 
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According to the book I read ("The Norman Conquest" by Marc Morris), he wanted to atone for killing an anointed king. But recently I read that Pope Alexander II ordered him to do penance for all the lives that were lost in the battle. And the fact that he designed the altar to be on the exact spot of Harold's death suggests that he did have some regrets.

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