Rather than research a new place in England to visit, I decided to return to Canterbury, which I liked so much at the start of my trip. The self-catering place I had stayed at before did not have available all six days I wanted, so I moved after three days to the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, within the precinct walls. It was special being able to stroll the grounds and the cathedral after the tourists had departed, and the view out my hotel window was of the cathedral’s spire.
I went on a guided tour of the cathedral as well, learning more about its history as the “cradle of English Christianity” and seeing where Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was killed in 1170 more-or-less under the direction of King Henry II. Becket became a martyr and a saint, and pilgrims came in droves to his shrine here. The shrine was destroyed a few hundred years later during King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries.
During my six days I caught up with computer tasks, went swimming once and met friends for two lunches. It was great to see Andrea, Sue and Ben again. It felt familiar and comfortable to return to a place I’d already spent time in.
Now I’m headed for 10 days in Belgium.
April 24-30: The planned and hoped-for dive trip to Greenland in late April was cancelled a few weeks ago due to too few divers committing to it by the deadline. Second year we've tried. What’s the problem? Don’t people like ice?! I paid extra to the airline to bring my dive gear over to Europe (kindly stored all these months by friend/dive trip organizer Morten) and didn’t want to go home having never got it wet, so Morten put together a four-day dive trip to Sweden. I wish it wasn’t so late in my trip – I’ll have just one day to dry my gear before flying home, and might have to stop diving a bit early to allow for "off-gassing" before flying – but it should be a great opportunity to get onto some World War I wrecks in the Baltic Sea. I now have three weeks to play with.