August 20.-Immediately after leaving Cambridge yesterday afternoon there was an interesting view of the Cam river. Boats with rowing parties were on the river. The wild red poppies were beautiful as we went whizzing past them. Large crops of potatoes and grain were dotted all over by the bright blossoms. We left Cambridge at four o’clock. Nearly all the way here we journeyed through a flat country. Flocks of black birds were in the fields, but they were not the dear singing black birds of the continent.
Of course we are here to see the Cathedral. Some time was left after our arrival here. As L. said we “did the Cathedral” before six. We are at Minster Temperance Hotel, close by the Cathedral.
This is said to be the longest Gothic church in Europe although others cover more ground. It is also said to have “the only Gothic dome in existence.” L. was much impressed by the worn stone steps at the entrance. The elaborate carving in the Lady Chapel, badly mutilated by Cromwell’s men, has many of the heads knocked off from the figures and is otherwise injured. The vaulted roof (one hundred feet long, sixty feet high and forty feet wide) is wholly without supports. L. admires the immense tower of the Cathedral which can be seen from the door of our hotel and from our window. Last evening after supper we stood in the front doorway of the hotel and looked at the great tower. How it loomed up in the darkness ! From our window this morning before breakfast we again enjoyed it. We think the carving in the beautiful choir as wonderful as that in the Lady Chapel and is not so much injured. We walked about in the interior last evening and about the exterior and then returned to our hotel rather reluctantly, for we would have been glad to spend more time there. This morning we went again hoping to see it, but a service was being held and the doors were closed. We looked and looked at the exterior and L. thought that was “about as good as seeing the interior again.” Mr. and Mrs. Jones, who have charge of this hotel, are kind people. They have made our stay here delightful. Mr. Jones printed an Ely post card for me this morning. They have in a yard back of the hotel a variety of beautiful stocks, single dahlias and nasturtiums.