Friday, March 16, 2018

The Proposal (Showing Off a "Small Island" - Part 6)


Durham, a historic city in North East England, is home to a Norman cathedral that became a center of pilgrimage in medieval England.  That's because the Cathedral contains the final resting place of St. Cuthbert.  The city also boasts an 11th century castle that has been the home of Durham University since 1832.  And all of this perched on a stunning rocky outcrop that looks down on the River Wear (pronounced like 'weird' but without the 'd').  But what you really need to know about Durham is this: Spousal Unit proposed to me here, right outside the main door of the Cathedral, 28 years ago.

So, of course we brought my sister and her husband to the scene of the crime during their UK tour in June 2017 (see previous posts about their visit: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5)

Durham is only a short drive from my in-laws' house; we took advantage of the Park and Ride just outside the city center because the walk into town along the river offers peek-a-boo glimpses of the Cathedral until suddenly it looms over you and the water.
Scaffolding on right-hand tower - repairs!

We scaled the cobblestone streets that wend a serpentine route to the hill occupied by the Cathedral and castle.  As we entered the square that is bounded by these ancient structures, I was struck by the contrast in the historical architecture 


Pictures inside the Cathedral are not permitted

and modern-day activities.
Large wedding tent on the square















Carousel horses - waiting patiently for the kids!
While my sister and her husband thoroughly explored the Cathedral, I enjoyed quiet time in the pews, absorbing the environment and reflecting on family memories (beyond The Proposal).  Our kids have visited often and we have brought other family members here as well.   Even after all these years, we haven't figured out the rhythm of the Tower opening, so we act pleasantly surprised if we can actually climb the Tower and enjoy the 360 view of the river and the countryside beyond.  (On this particular day, it was not open.)  And yet the Cathedral always has something new to offer.




Cloisters
After Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released, the kids and Spousal Unit alike were thrilled to look at the Cloisters through new eyes, and speculate which side of the quadrangle had been used for the scene in which Harry magically releases Hedwig the owl from his hands.

In 2016, our family participated in the Durham Cathedral LEGO build.  For every British pound you donated, you got to place one LEGO brick on the model, which now contains almost 300,000 bricks!  The model is an accurate scale representation of the Cathedral,  12.5 feet long, 5 feet wide and 5.6 feet high.  It is currently on display in the Undercroft Foyer.  The first LEGO was laid on July 11, 2013 and the final brick was placed on July 25, 2016.


(Internet)

Two years ago, the Cathedral opened a new area, called the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  Perhaps because it does not get as many visitors as the Cathedral proper, I find the space to be utterly peaceful and an ideal location to ponder the glory of the Cross.


(Internet)

The grounds outside the Chapel are also glorious.  I could not stop taking pictures of the roses.
















By this time the troops clamored for refreshments.  With the downhill before us, we positively legged it to Vennels Café.  But not before a final glance at the spot where I said yes to the man of my dreams.



Linking to

All Seasons


Floral Friday Fotos
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Mosaic Monday


Our World Tuesday
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48 comments:

  1. What a fun time all of you had. I love all the flowers around the cathedral. Beautiful.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

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  2. ...what an interesting post. I wonder if they have a carousel horse my size, no doubt not. Enjoy your weekend.

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  3. Wonderful tour, thank you! Our daughter and son-in-law lived in Mundesley, near Norwich, for a year so we had a wonderful visit to England at Christmas. We didn't get to Durham though. I hope to go back again and I;ll add Durham to the list. Wishing your a wonderful weekend.

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  4. Just so beautiful, what a great way to spend time on such an adventure. The Carousel horses are so pretty and I love the beauty of your Roses shared. Have a Happy weekend~

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  5. Looks like a grand cathedral and how nice to have such a special connection to it. I would much rather have had a proposal next to a cathedral instead of the inside of a Datsun 510, LOL. We did spend the first summer after we were engaged in England. So I'll be satisfied with that. Cloisters are so amazing. Thoroughly enjoyed your post!

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  6. I want to see it too! I watch shows on tv touring castles and Norman strongholds, as well as history of the area.
    Nice to hear the proposal "took"
    (my husband proposed while my lab was out back peeing) (he's an engineer, all business!)

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  7. The Spousal Unit is a classy dude to propose to you in this beautiful and tranquil spot. Cheers to the two of you! :-)

    The roses are gorgeous. They inspire me to create a rose section in the front yard.

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  8. Wonderful tour . . .
    Pleasant to be part of the romance too.
    Spousal Unit chose a beautiful sacred proposal setting . . .
    Loved, Loved the roses . . . so beautiful . . .

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  9. It's wonderful that this beautiful place is woven into the fabric of your life...gorgeous architecture and landscape. I'm sure I'd be trying to find "Harry Potter backgrounds".

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  10. Thanks for the virtual tour. What a magnificent cathedral! Your photos are awesome.

    Have a great weekend!

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  11. What wonderful shots of Durham. I haven't been there since I was young!

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  12. A city I have never visited. Nearest I ever came was knowing a guy who was at Durham Uni some 50 years ago. So now he's "The Spousal Unit" and "Man of Your Dreams"? I guess from that you've had lots of laughs during those 28 + years.

    Have a great weekend. But there's a colod wind blowing here today, all the way from the North East, roughly the direction of Durham.

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  13. I really do envy your historic castles. We have nothing like this in Australia. But then we have many other things to explore. Have a fabulous week and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

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  14. Such a lovely place, lots of beautiful views and priceless memories.

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  15. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I am amazed how old some English buildings are and love that many are still in use.

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  16. an impressive cathedral, so many beautiful things to see and photograph. you closed with some gorgeous roses, a divine variety of colors!!!

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  17. What a marvelous post and photos and where your hubby proposed ~ how exciting!

    Happy Saturday,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  18. I've never visited England and may never get to. The countryside there really is so beautiful, walkable and I love how much history is preserved plus the character of the old buildings. Really lovely.

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  19. It's beautiful! Why don't they allow photos inside? I would love to visit the UK some day. I'd need to spend a few months seeing everything I want. Thank you for the glimpse at this lovely place.

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  20. Angie, Happy St. Patrick's Day. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Beautiful place with lots of happy memories for you.

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  22. What a lovely moment!
    We've been into the Lego this past week!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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  23. Hi Angie. Thank you for visiting my blog, because that is how I found yours! This was such a wonderful read with such wonderful photographs. I enjoyed the virtual tour and learning about the history behind these old buildings. I would love to be visit England some day.

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  24. Thank you for taking the time to take these photos and share your wonderful story with us. Much appreciated. Wishing you good health and happiness always.

    God bless.

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  25. What a significant and beautiful place!And a great place to come back to. Roses in the church yard are two synonymous things for me - they're beautiful! Love the variety of teapots and the place of your wedding you shared with All Seasons:) Have a beautiful week!

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  26. As a rose lover you might notice, I like the roses best! Groetjes Hetty

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  27. Such lovely photos! What an incredible trip. :) Kit

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  28. Awesome place and gorgeous for a proposal :)

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  29. Hello, wonderful story and memories. The Cathedral is just beautiful. The gardens and flowers are lovely. Thanks for sharing your trip! Have a happy Monday and new week ahead.

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  30. It's a gorgeous area and I am sure you were happy to relive many happy memories.

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  31. Oh a sweet memory along with all the joyful visits to this wonderful site. It seems to have so much to offer. I love how all these places have such wonderful gardens too.

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  32. Lovely piece about Durham Cathedral and the romantic proposal all those years ago, guess he's a keeper then? Vennels Café looked interesting, I imagine they do a lovely cream tea there!
    Guess where we went today, Worcester Cathedral! Loved it, blog post coming soon.
    Happy MM.

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  33. Could there be a more romantic and beautiful spot for a proposal? I love it! Fabulous place. Wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing them.

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  34. What a gorgeous place! And how nice to see the roses blooming! Happy Mosaic Monday!

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  35. Angie, I love the old buildings and the roses. Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

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  36. Wow this post has so many great photos! I love those roses. The chapel is wonderful. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. cheers, Nora

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  37. What a lovely tour together with your memories! I understand why you couldn’t stop taking pictures of roses. They look more attractive with the backdrop of stone walls of the chapel.

    Yoko

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  38. What a lovely place to visit. My sister studied in Durham and enjoyed her time there. I love the Lego model. What a great idea!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  39. Awesome!!!! so gad I came in for a visit. Have a gorgeous week

    much love...

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  40. What a memorable place for your proposal, Angie! So much peaceful serenity, beauty and history! The surrounding rose gardens were gorgeous! The Lego fundraiser was a fabulous idea and obviously earned much money fro repairs and maintenance.

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  41. Such beautiful photos! I enjoyed your post, the history and the memories so much.

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  42. So much history and beauty. The roses look heavenly and would have me snapping away too.

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  43. Roses are such stunning flowers and my sister loves them. Your visit here was very eye-opening...:)JP

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  44. Lovely environs. It must be nice to have personal history associated with such a beautiful place. And it's so nice that you visit often and relive those precious moments. :)

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  45. Lovely environs. It must be nice to have personal history associated with such a beautiful place. And it's so nice that you visit often and relive those precious moments. :)

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