A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Norfolk (part two)

It seems a long time ago now that W and I were in Norfolk, but I do owe you all another post about the things we got up to.  We crammed a lot in to our time away, whilst still managing to have a few days around the cottage and the local village.  However, we couldn't go that close to the regional capital without spending a day in Norwich, so we took the Park and Ride in to the city centre one day and went visiting the cathedrals.  There are two in Norwich (as there are in many cities) - the Catholic and the Anglican - and we went to the Catholic one first, passing through a lovely park on the way:

Bandstand in the park
Gargoyle on the outside of the Catholic Cathedral
The Nave of the Catholic Cathedral
The south aisle of the Catholic Cathedral

It looks old, doesn't it?  I have to say that I felt a little cheated to find out that it was only built in 1910.  It's still lovely, though, so I don't mind too much.

We had a very pleasant walk then to the Anglican Cathedral, which is simply called Norwich Cathedral.  One of the streets we went along had lots of plaques laid in to the pavement representing different professions.  Here's one of them:

And then we arrived at Norwich Cathedral:

The East end of the Cathedral
Seen from the cloisters
The cloisters
The font is unusually placed along the side of one of the aisles, but it was one that I particularly liked.  There's a sign next to it that explains that it used to be a vat in a chocolate factory, and was donated to the Cathedral by the factory.  I'm not sure if this is when the factory closed, or at some other time.  I love the idea of being baptised in a chocolate vat:

Chocolate pot font

Isn't it fabulous?

Sadly we weren't able to stay for evensong that was just about to start as we left, because we'd have missed the last bus back to the Park and Ride car park.  That was a bit disappointing, but we did have a pleasant walk/trundle back through the city to the bus station.

Where we were staying in Stratton St Michael was only about a half hour drive from a small zoo - Banham Zoo.  W and I both love animals and wildlife so it was a natural thing for us to visit the zoo, especially as we were so close.  There were mixed reviews of it in the cottage's visitors' book, but we really enjoyed it, despite it being the one day when we had torrential rain, although the rest of the country had it much worse.  In fact it was so bad in other parts of the country later in the week that the A1 got flooded and was closed.  We were keeping an eye on this as the A1 was, of course, our route back up North, and it was looking as though we wouldn't be able to get back home.  The week progressed, and although we had pretty good weather, the rain in other parts of England was awful, so much so that the diversion route off the A1 then became flooded.  Although we had a couple of days left before the planned end to our holiday, we had to make a decision - were we going to try getting home on the Saturday with no guarantee of making it, or were we going to see if a couple of extra days would give the road chaos a chance to settle.  In the end we settled for the latter, and after talking with the cottage proprietors (and W clearing it with work), we   arranged to stay until the Monday.  Although we might have managed to get back on the Saturday, I suspect that the goods vehicles that couldn't get through earlier in the week might well have clogged up the A1, and certainly when we were driving back on Monday there was still a lot of evidence of the floods.  By this time the water on the road had been cleared - pumped off by the fire brigade - but there were many, many fields along the way that were still like lakes.  As it was, it still took us eight hours to get back!

So anyway, with our extra time in Norfolk we decided to make the most of it, and on the Saturday when we should have been coming home, instead we went to another zoo - Africa Alive - just outside Lowestoft in Suffolk.  Africa Alive is much bigger than Banham Zoo, but it's owned by the same people.  I have to say that at both places I thought that some of the cages were a little small, but the animals were obviously well cared for, and none of them seemed distressed.  I will leave you this evening with a selection of photos from Banham Zoo and Africa Alive.  I have rather a lot of these photos so I'll try to limit those I put up, but it's going to be hard, and I predict a bit of an animal overload for you ;oP


Ringtailed Lemurs - Mother and baby.
Baby Lemur sitting on my knee trying to work out how to control the wheelchair.
Meerkats relaxing in the sunshine.
Spiny mice.
Foxes, but I've forgotten what kind.
Elephants ;oP
'Allo.  You looking for me?
Fighting cattle/bison.
'Zero', the alpha male lion at Africa Alive.
Fighting lions with Zero looking on.
Spider Monkey
W hand feeding a larakeet
A yawny leopard
Oh, 'ello.  Can I 'elp you?
Snow Leopard
Jackass Penguins
Short-clawed Otter
Snack time for the tiger
Longing for freedom?
Red Panda

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