Discovering Albion – day 9: Soapbox…

scotland trip jan 15 006It was getting late by the time we left the island. Ten miles back to the last hotel we had passed or forge ahead and see what happened? We forged ahead and fell lucky, finding a little place north of Alnwick where we could spend the night. Next morning we were up and away early, breaking our fast on the provisions with which we had stocked the car… and deciding, in true Hobbit fashion, that second breakfast could be had in Durham.

Jumping Bean cafe

Jumping Bean

We found a superb little place in the city centre… the Jumping Bean Café. I warn you, stay clear… unless, of course, you want to end up addicted to crumpets covered in toasted cheese. In which case, I highly recommend it. We looked at the artwork on the walls and watched a pied wagtail on the decking as we waited, curious to taste this unheard-of combination. Cheesey crumpets were, we decided after the first bite, definitely the way forward…

Friendly chaffinch…

Friendly chaffinch…

The police had reopened the bridge across the river by the time we had done; the body floating in the water had been recovered and turned out to be no more than a log washed downstream. We wandered through the ancient alleyways… ginnels we would call them in Yorkshire… and up towards the castle and Cathedral. A huge memorial cross in the Celtic style dominates the green, but is dwarfed beside the majesty of the cathedral itself.

narrow ways

narrow ways

Now, you’ll have to excuse me but there are a couple of things that get my goat and I fail to understand either of them. No flash photography within the Cathedral… no photographs in the chapels set aside for prayer… those I can understand. The first may cause damage to delicate materials… and I never use a flash in historic places for that reason. The second is unfair and distracting to those who are simply there to pray.

Medieval arms.. though I still say it looks like the Loch Ness monster on that helmet...

Medieval arms.. though I still say it looks like the Loch Ness monster on that helmet…

But no photography at all… sometimes ‘for copyright reasons’… on a building whose copyright probably ran out the best part of a millennium ago… this I fail to understand. Obviously they want you to buy their illustrated guides. But then there is copyright on the images…

Conttinue reading at France & Vincent

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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