Saturday, February 7, 2009

Canterbury, continued

I spent most of Thursday just exploring the city, not with any real purpose. The day started with a traditional English breakfast at a local cafe, which was very good, very filling; I don't understand why English food gets the bad rap it does. After Morgan gave me a whirlwind tour of the city, I went with her to the University of Canterbury, which whatever the quality of education (and it sounds like they have some top-notch departments) has some incredibly ugly modernist buildings, as it was only built in the 70s. Apparently the architect's previous project had been a prison. The library is one of the better buildings.

The school is quite a distance away from Sean and Morgan's apartment, taking a good half hour to walk there, uphill. Compare this view from outside their door:

to this, from the entrance to the school.

After getting back I decided to do some walking around. I wanted to go to the ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey, but it was closed for some reason. So instead I decided to follow the city wall for awhile. I actually found a rock that had fallen out onto the ground and considered taking it as a souvenir, but then judged that to be rather touristy, and possibly illegal. It was next to a main traffic artery and so I didn't take my chances. I went along the outside up the northeast end, and eventually found myself back at the apartment. Just before that, I came across this house, which for obvious reasons is always being photographed:

After that I went back to the Dane John, a little park named presumably in reference to the city's 11th century viking conquerors. Among other landmarks it contains a monument to those who died in the Boer War of South Africa.

That night Morgan prepared for us a hardy meal, made all the more amazing by the fact that it was made up of leftovers.

Later that night I rode one of their bikes back up to the University to see Slumdog Millionaire, an amazing and even heartwarming movie which I highly recommend.

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