November 1, 2012

Ely, Cambridgeshire

At 10am on Oct. 20th, I boarded a train to Ely for £2.80 round-trip fare. The main attraction is, of course, the Ely Cathedral.

After a brief walk in the morning fog, I arrived at the West Door, opening up to this amazing view:

View from the West Door

I bought the "Total Experience" ticket (£14.50), which included Cathedral admission, a tour up the Octagon Tower, and entrance to the adjacent Stained Glass Museum.

My tour was led by a gentleman named John, so I, along with a couple in their 50s, went along the history-enriched tour. This Norman-designed Cathedral that was restored in the Victorian era, is truly a marvelous sight.

The lantern shaped octagon tower was built after one of the four original pillars of the building collapsed. This lantern design optimizes natural daylight filtering into the building.

Here's the view from the floor level...

View of the Octagon Tower from the Floor Level

After going through the tower entrance at the side of Lady Chapel, up ~170 steps of super narrow, low-ceiling, cobwebs-filled staircase, I arrived at the following view:

View from the Top of the Octagon Tower

For a more in-depth look of the interior design:

Model of the Octagon Tower
Supporting Structure in the Octagon Tower

It was actually quite chilly on the tower roof. So after the swift descent, I went for some lunch and tea at the cafe before a visit to the Stained Glass Museum. Fresh-out-of-the oven sausage roll for £2.50 and a complementary tea.

Lunch at the Cafe

Following a visit to the Apple Festival and to the Oliver Cromwell House (which now houses the Tourist Information Center), I strolled across town to the riverside for a distant photo of the Ely Cathedral.

The West Tower and the Octagon Tower

Here I ended my trip to board a train back home

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