Easter is now usually spent with darling girl in Bristol, UK. Each time I visit, a car is hired and off we go exploring the neighboring countryside on my travels with my daughter.
This time Glastonbury was on the to-visit list. In looking for a succinct precis for a bit of historical padding for those who haven’t had the pleasure of Glastonbury, I came across “A History of Glastonbury“: by Tim Lambert. ( Well worth a full read if you are interested)
There are many legends about Glastonbury so let us start with these. St Dunstan was Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey between 940 and 960. He then became Archbishop of Canterbury and he was buried when he died. In 1188 the monks of Glastonbury abbey produced a body, which they claimed was that of St Dunstan. They claimed that in 1018 when the Danes were attacking Canterbury they took the saint’s body to Glastonbury for safety. The clergy of Canterbury hotly disputed this claim. Nevertheless until the 16th century many visitors came to Glastonbury to see the body of ‘St Dunstan’.
In 1191 the monks of Glastonbury Abbey ‘discovered’ the tombs of king Arthur and his queen Guinevere. The ‘discovery’ attracted many visitors to Glastonbury at that time and it has continued to do so ever since! Unfortunately there is no proof that Arthur ever lived in Glastonbury. The discovery of his body was certainly a hoax. According to legend Arthur was buried at a place called Avalon. Unfortunately nobody knows where ‘Avalon’ was. Arthur may have had some connection with Glastonbury but there is no firm evidence. However the name Avalon lives on as the name of a housing estate.
Being Easter Saturday, parking was at a premium so a little walk to the city centre through magnolia filled streets wasn’t too much of a hardship, the sun was shining, Easter was in the air…
The very first person seen was a vision of eccentricity, which set the stage for our wander around the center of town.
Magic and mystery seem to sum up the image Glastonbury has continued to create for itself. Musicians on the streetside, crystals on sale, interesting occult styled shops, plenty of incense, long, floaty dresses, velvet cloaks, colorful hats and vibrant pashminas fill the rails. Skulls in many forms seem to feature heavily too.
It was time to find a center seat and people watch.
At the “Wish You Were Here” Cafe, opposite the Abbey entrance, we were lucky enough to bag one of the few outside tables. With Cappuccino’s and to die for cakes, we spent a glorious hour watching Glastonbury life pass us by. It is a place where any dress code goes, from the weird to the wonderful and we loved it. (However, it wouldn’t be terribly kind of me to publish the people watching photos, so I resisted.)
Now, this post is about windows really, and I found some very nice ones too.
Just before I digress to the windows of the post, we were lucky enough to visit on a craft fair day.
Stalls full of incense, candles, wood carvings, jewelry, suncatchers, dream-catchers and so on. What fun! Maybe I’ve been deprived from the Engish craft fair after so long away, but it was worth a wander. Glastonbury Abbey was 10 pounds per person to visit, which we both felt was over-priced and headed back to catch some free street views and find me some windows and doors! My daughter, bless her, is a model of patience when I whip out the camera.
We headed off to visit Glastonbury Tor, but having not prepared this trip terribly well and it being Easter weekend, we couldn’t find a parking place. Note to self, be prepared!
Definitely, it’s a return trip to this unique town, but I think I would personally avoid it at festival time. We both commented that the traffic must be horrendous with all the avid festival goers heading down the narrow windy roads.
Fabulous photos. I vaguely remember the magic of Glastonbury, lots of magic there!
And crystals and mysticism and tourist tat 🙂 but it’s great fun to visit!
Wish you were here cafe! That’s a cool name.
I’m gasping for breath! What wonderful, wonderful buildings and streets! Naturally, my favorite is the cottage-y looking one with the white and gold stucco. What a treat this post is!!
Thank you Marian. Glastonbury is a totally unexpected town. Deep in rural Somerset, known internationally by its annual music festival, it’s a combination of ye olde England and hippy influence..all in all, such fun. I certainly will return now I’ve found it. The people watching gave us both hours of fun. Memories are made from such unique experiences!
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