Today was a travel day as we journeyed about 4 hours from a somewhat central part of England to the southwest part.
This was our first real day of rain, which was fine, since we weren't hiking.
Our trip took us through Bristol, Weston Super Mare, Axbridge (noted for its well preserved medieval square) and Cheddar (yes, where the cheese originated).
Our lunch stop was in Wells, England's smallest cathedral city (population just under 12,000). It gets its name from 3 wells, two on the grounds of the Bishop's Palace that are used, among other things, to form a moat, and another in the town square.
But the real highlight of this stop is seeing Wells Cathedral, built between 1180 and 1239.
The facade is magnificent. The front displays almost 300 original 13th century carvings of kings and the Last Judgment.
As we entered the nave, we saw the unique "scissors" or hourglass-shaped double arch, added in 1338 to transfer weight from the south -- where the foundations were sinking under the tower's weight - to the east, where they were firm.
Set in the floor are black tombstones that have decorative recesses that are not filled with brass as they once were.
There is a medieval clock from 1390 that does a funny "joust" on the hour and shows dates of the month and phases of the moon.
Next we went to the choir or "quire" as they call it, where the daily services are sung.
In the south transept is the old Saxon font that survives from the previous church (AD 705) and has been used for Wells' baptisms for more than 1,000 years.
Then we walked through the cloisters.
Several of us then went to lunch at the Swan's Inn and had a lively conversation with two English men who had been to all 50 US states. Their KY visit took them only to Corbin to see Col. Saunders home. I think they traveled but missed a lot.
Afterwards we walked to the Bishop's Palace, built in the 13th century and still in use today as the residence of the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Then we boarded our bus for a 2-hour trip to Camelford and the Lanteglos Country House Hotel.
Dinner was at the hotel - another 3-course meal. Then we had a speaker on Cornwall and off to bed.