Friday, June 23, 2006

Trip to Lincoln

Back in late March, I took a trip to the UK with my boyfriend. We started out in London and ended up in Edinburgh, Scotland. We took a train from Kings Cross to Newark North Gate and then on to Lincoln to visit friends.

Lincolnshire isn't as large or as well known as some of the other shires in England. But it's a lovely town that houses a cathedral that’s over 800 years old, a castle and Joe Cook, who gave us a private tour of the Stonebow and Guild House.

Our hosts, Steven and Dorothy Roper took us first to the cathedral. "The Da Vinci Code" filmed some scenes there and we were able to see and photograph some of the left over props. Afterward we had hot chocolate at the hotel where Tom Hanks stayed and learned that Ron Howard had eaten at the Old Bakery where we had our room. The food at the Old Bakery was quite good although we only had breakfast there. Our room was cozy and comfortable with a small bathroom at one end.

It's too bad the movie wasn't very good. The cathedral is beautiful and more people should see it.
Later we met Joe Cook at the Guild House. A friend of our hosts, Cook entertained us with the history of Lincoln, the Guild House and his time in the army. He works for the mayor, and has since the early ‘80s. He had stories of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.

He explained, “You address the office not the person” so “Mister Mayor” is appropriate – and even insisted upon – whether the office is held by a man or a woman. The current Lincoln mayor is a 4-foot, 8-inch woman, who is tough as nails, according to Cook.
Later we visited the castle, whose walls offered great views of the cathedral and surrounding Lincoln. Inside the castle we visited the old prison, or gaol, and stood in the prison chapel where prisoners were separated from each other by high stalls that resemble cattle chutes.

For dinner we drove to Louth for fish and chips at Mr. Chips. Albert, Steven and Dorothy all ate mushy peas, which, to me, looked like radiated refried beans. They’re a sickly green mush made of peas – thus, the name. They really did look like radioactive refried beans. Just looking at that pile of goo covering the tasty fish and chips made me feel ill.

Our whirlwind tour of Lincoln was much too short. There's more to see and I recommend anyone visiting the UK make a stop in Lincoln, even if only for a day.

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