Fourteen Months Abroad – Canterbury, England

August 9.-We are glad to be in this quaint old town,—”the first English Christian city.” As we arrived here early this afternoon (half past two) we were in season to visit the Cathedral, and to walk about the grounds. The Cathedral was cold, and L. not feeling well we dared not remain there long. We much admired the fine exterior with its beautiful tower and enjoyed looking at the ruined arches and walls of the cloisters around it, covered with ivy, wild clematis and Virginia creeper. In the interior we were interested in the exquisite colors of the stained glass windows and in the monuments and tombs of noted people buried there. The choir, being higher than the nave and the rest of the Cathedral, is reached by a broad flight of stone steps. We went into a store which is a part of the old cloisters around the Cathedral, entering between two of the ancient pillars where once the monks passed in and out. We saw the ancient Palace where the archbishop of Canter-bury once lived. Next summer on our return to England we hope to see more of this ancient Cathedral. We left London and our hard, knotty beds today at noon.

Since supper and since writing the above we have taken a most delightful walk about the streets of this curious old town on our way to St. Martin’s Church, probably the oldest Christian church in England. It stands, with its square, ivy-covered tower, in the midst of a churchyard filled with monuments. I plucked a rose and ivy leaves there. On the way we passed quaint old dwellings and I talked with some of their occupants. The tallow candle by the light of which I am writing (there being no gas in our room) brings back childhood reminiscences. The town, decorated last week for cricket week, has window boxes full of flowers on the second and third stories of the houses on both sides of the street. The decorations and the flowers remaining make this narrow street beautiful. As the sidewalks are very narrow people walk in the streets, which are also narrow and crooked. We are stopping at Baker’s Temperance Hotel, on the principal street, which L. paced and found to be only twenty feet wide. It was dark when we returned from our interesting walk.

On our way to Victoria Station this morning we passed Buckingham Palace again and St. James’s Park. From the train today we saw hop vineyards and kilns with queer looking tops in which the hops are dried. When we passed through Rochester, we saw the ruins of the Castle. In one place we saw a quantity of purple Scotch heather in full bloom. A gentleman in the car told us what it was.