Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photo Diary: Winchester

After my younger sister Gillian was here over Christmas, my older sister Darcy is here for spring break. I have been going to various exciting places with her just as I did with Gillian, and also like Gillian, she nags me to update the blog with the photos from said exciting places. Yes, I am as lazy as crap about doing it otherwise, but it actually takes a long time to put one of these suckers together and I want to be spending it doing other things.

/bitch whine whine moan

/Anyway, here are the photos from our marvellous Monday escapade to lovely Winchester, England.

Downtown Winchester.
A shot up the side of St. Laurence's Church in downtown Winchester. This is cool because...

... of that. I am writing a historical novel about the Norman Conquest (this book has taken over my life, by the way) and therefore, I particularly enjoy things like these; it's as close as an author can get to actually meeting her characters. As a matter of fact, I chose to go to Winchester because of its historical associations, and because two of my characters (two of William the Conqueror's sons) are buried in the cathedral. Speaking of which....

The walk up to Winchester Cathedral. I've seen Bath Abbey and Salisbury Cathedral, in addition to Westminster Abbey, and you'd think eventually you'd sort of start getting used to them. Nope.

The front facade of Winchester Cathedral.

Inside, looking down the side aisle.

The stained glass windows over the front door.

More stained glass.

Sunlight coming in the high windows. This in the older, Norman part of the cathedral, as you can tell by the arches. Yes, I am a geek for this sort of thing.

A lovely pic looking up near the front of the cathedral, where the mortuary chests containing the bones of the Old English kings and queens are kept.

AKA these guys. I was looking for William Rufus, but couldn't find him (he was in one of the chests, but my Latin is extremely rudimentary and they were above my head. What the hell).

We did find his brother Richard, however. The inscription says, "Hitus est corpus Richardi Willhelmi Conquestoris fili et Beorine ducis," which I was able to translate. ("Here is the body of Richard, son of William the Conqueror and Duke of Bernay.")

One of the mortuary chests.

Looking into the chancel (at least I think that's what it is).

The altar.

A really stunning look back down the length of the nave. The tomb in the foreground is that of Henry, Bishop of Winchester, cousin of King Stephen and grandson of William the Conqueror. Rufus was supposedly buried there first, but got moved.

See, it says so.

Another look up at the windows.

The grave of some lady writer or other.

Another good shot down the aisle.

The Norman crypt, the oldest part of the cathedral. I have nothing to say to this but: COOL.

Detail of painting on the ceiling on one of the side chapels.

Darcy outside the cathedral.


The flying buttresses of the Cathedral.

The houses out the back entrance.

Another look at the house.

The back gate.

A street down by the river.

The greenery overlooking a culvert.

The back side of Winchester College, which I think is actually a high school.

Part of the old Winchester city wall down by the river.

More Winchester city wall.

Cool-looking bit of the wall.

Part of the path, with trees and a stream.



The river.

The river again.

The streets of Winchester, on the way up the hill to the lookout point.

The streets again.

The lookout point is at the top of this hill. Which necessitated climbing an ASSLOAD of incredibly steep stairs.

These bad boys.

But there were some pretty good views from the top.

Winchester from the lookout.

The hill from which we descended (we found a way with fewer steps). Looks sort of faerie like.

Descending from the viewpoint, we found this narrow side alley down through the houses.

A pic of the city wall and the flowering trees, on our way back into town.

A shot of the Winchester streets on our way back to the train station.

All right, that covers it. We're going to London tomorrow; this will be my third time, but of course Darcy hasn't gone. But we'll go to the London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral, and other interesting places that I haven't been, before going to Dover on Friday. All good fun. I will remember to do the pictures. Really. Then Scotland... YAY. Can't wait.

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