If you pick a place to vacation in the English countryside near Peterborough, the first place on your agenda to visit should be Peterborough? Right?
Looks like we're going to have a pretty day for sightseeing in the area.
I can see why somebody would want to get away from everything by staying in a cottage out here in the English countryside.
The horses seem to like it here.
We found our host Kathryn shaving a horse this morning. I didn't know shaving horses was a thing, but it turns out she participates in dressage shows and she wants her four-legged friend to look his best. I guess a heavy winter coat just won't do -- she says if she doesn't shave it off he gets hot when he's working hard. She'll give him a blanket to wear all the rest of the time to keep him warm.
Back of the farmhouse. But let's get out of here. Isn't there supposed to be a steam railway nearby?
Yep. And by the way...it's "NEEN" Valley. I was guessing "neeny" but ... wrong again.
A real choo choo train!
And plenty of older ones, too.
Bill's going to like it here.
They make you pay a pound to come out here. But it's worth every pence.
The age of steam is not totally dead. It turns out they're training new steam locomotive engineers today, so the upside is there's more activity than usual. The downside is there are no choo choo train rides for tourists.
They have things set up just like the old days.
This is where the station master would work if there was still a station master.
This isn't exactly an authentic British Railway car. Her name is Helga and she's Swedish. I guess in a railway museum you display whatever you happen to have around.
Thomas? Is that you? Have you and Helga been hanging out again? She's no good for you, Thomas.
All around the water tank, waiting for a train,
Well how about that?
Bill is seriously enjoying this.
More rolling stock
There's even a genuine authentic working turntable.
And a bridge to the other side...
That's an artsy shot, Bill.
The old railway station, now shuttered, was pretty impressive.
Back in the day.
Hi, guys! Surprise! Bet you weren't expecting a couple of American tourists to drop in on your hobby today. So, what're you up to?
Somebody built this in the '60s and you're restoring it in your spare time on the weekends? It's looking great!
I wonder if they have WiFi in Heaven? I expect so...makes sense. So, Guy Rochelle, if you're watching this from way up there just remember:
If it jumps off the track, it's not my fault!
Guess it's about time to leave Wansford Station.
One last chat with a model train technician.
Wait a minute...I think I hear something coming....
And one last look at the real thing.
Let's go visit the local park, which is a pretty major attraction, it turns out.
It's a beautiful place.
With lovely vistas.
And a pretty lake.
With an excursion boat.
And ducks and seagulls.
There's evern a snack bar that offers chicken tikka masala and chips. Yum.
Now let's go into the heart of Peterborough.
I think there's a cathedral over there behind Starbucks.
Why yes, indeed there is.
Peterborough Cathedral has a rich history dating back over 900 years, or maybe 1,300, depending on whom you ask.
That's Peter up there watching over things.
See? They're claiming only 900 years. But the Wikipedia article said...
Bill loves visiting yet another European cathedral and it never even once crosses his mind that they all look the same and when you've seen one you've seen 'em all. But still, if only there were something unique to look at here...
Whoa! What's this?
So Tim Peake is a British astronaut and that's a Russian Soyuz spacecraft parachute hanging from the cathedral columns over there?
And that's Tim Peake's Soyuz landing module? Yep.
That's even his space suit.
And that's a virtual reality display hiding back there in a corner of the cathedral. This is almost just like old times at NASA! OK, Peterborough Cathedral, you win. This is not the same old same old.
There's even an odd clock.
It hasn't been used since 1950, but they say it still works. You just can't look at it to see what time it is. You have to listen to the ringing of bells. Clever. I guess.
Well Peterborough Cathedral is just full of surprises! Who knew we'd run across Katherine of Aragon today?
Here lies the first and only wife of Henry VIII, until he met Anne Bolyn, anyway. Her tomb is always decorated with pomegranates, her heraldic symbol.
See? Pomegranates of Granada.
And wait a minute, Mary Queen of Scots too? Well, no, not exactly. She was originally buried here but now she resides in Westminster Abbey.
The choir was practicing.
It's a big place.
With a fancy carved ceiling.
And it can get cold in here, so they have these fancy heaters from Victorian days.
There was an ugly green Rolls Royce on the front lawn. Why was it there? Who knows? But it was incongruous so I took a picture.
The sun goes down early in England as winter approaches.
So let's find someplace to eat. Is this a fancy pizzeria or what?
Surely we can do better. Let's look a little further, down here by a nice old church.
Yeah it is nice and old.
And there's a French restaurant across the street.
With a view of the nice old church from inside.
And very good food. Bill has had a good day.
And a great dessert to end it. Peterborough, you've won my heart.