To keep myself busy and continually exploring England, I have made a small list of destinations that are easy to get to by train from Ely. Just easy day trips really. I am still a little terrified of driving the manual so luckily, I have a train station about a mile away from home. So back to my list. Norwich was first up on my list. I wanted to explore Norwich for two reasons; one, I had heard from friends that Norwich was a pretty cool place to visit and two, they have a Colman's mustard shop. Van is obsessed with Colman's so I had to go.
Above is a quintessentially English street. This is Elm Hill and it is basically a cobblestone street area with old shops and buildings that date back to the Tudor period. It was neat to walk down the street and imagine the people that walked down the same street 500 years ago. The shops were interesting with antique items that took you back in time. I actually was able to see what a 10 shilling note (bill) looked like.
Norwich has an abundance of museums, galleries and churches. Above is the Norwich Castle. Constructed circa 1067, and beginning in 1220 was used primarily as a prison for a few centuries. I did not take the time to venture inside but probably would on a return visit. I can only imagine the scenes from behind the walls hundreds of years ago,
After wandering around awhile through the streets, I finally found the Royal Arcade which housed Colman's Mustard shop. The Royal Arcade was a lovely covered row of shops and galleries. I originally discovered Colman's mustard by accident. When shopping in a foreign grocery store, even if they do speak the same language, there are many differences in familiar products. I bought Colman's thinking it would be regular ole mustard....but it was not. It has the potency of horseradish and will burn your nose if you are not careful. Of course Van and I are gluttons for punishment, so we continue to buy it. Van is definitely more in love with the stuff than me. So, I found the mustard shop and bought him several goodies. Colman's mustard is exclusively made in Norwich.
The streets of Norwich were very vibrant the day I visited. There were several street musicians who were all playing jolly music. I spotted an accordion player, a violinist, and guitar player. The guy below smiled for me and made me giggle. His music was so fun. If I wasn't so shy I would have broke out in a little jig. And how nice of him to be standing under the restaurant with my namesake....so I call him my fiddler :)
I can never pass up a Cathedral. Norwich has a large cathedral (Norwich Cathedral) which dates back to 1096 when the foundation was first laid. The completion of the Cathedral was around 1140 or so. What I enjoyed most about Norwich Cathedral was the grounds outside. The covered walks of the Cloister were so peaceful and stunning. It almost was Harry Potterish! I didn't spend much time in the Cathedral but did take some photos of the interior. It was truly beautiful.
|Original wall paintings|
Of course, an English town is not complete without some wonky buildings. I just love them. At first, you think your eyes are playing tricks on you. But they're not, it's a crooked building. It always reminds me of our first weekend in England when we explored Lavenham. The buildings will make you dizzy!
A day in Norwich was a great way to spend a little free time. Norwich is much larger than Ely and it's always nice to get out and see mainstream shops like Joules and even the Gap. Norwich is full of history and you could easily spend an entire day perusing through museums and galleries. And luckily only a 45 minute train ride from Ely. I dare say, I will be making many more day trips like this!
|Norwich train station|