An Aura of Silence-Durham
Sun Playing hide and seek
“There is a voice of silence
That you need to know
On midnight streets
In the library room
As we reached Durham
And its compelling sight
The reverberation of silence
Unified with the heart
With the occasional resonance
Of the church bell
Or my long lost carols
Or the incense stick smell
The blue sunlit sky complimented well
The fairy tale landscape, and the rippling river
Durham was a sight to behold
A well spent day and a tale that must be told”
The beautiful Durham Cathedral
It was a sparkling Sunday morning and we were trying to decide where to go. Recollecting some discussions we had with people before, we narrowed down to Durham. A place which was famous for a captivating cathedral and was declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO. We were excited, as it seemed to be different from the places we had seen before.
It was just about 40 minutes’ drive from Eaglescliffe to Durham. When we reached the place, sun was shining gloriously on the massive cathedral. It was pre-Christmas time and a Sunday, many people had gathered to offer their prayers. It was a tangibly divine aura, the candle light, the fragrance of the incense sticks, prayer songs and the Church rituals, I felt absolutely seraphic.
Durham is a historic city and was a major center of pilgrimage in medieval England and continues to be popular. The enormous Cathedral and the 11th Century Castle are the most popular attractions of the city. The castle has also been the home of Durham University since 1832 (as per wiki).
How to reach Durham?
We had taken a cab from our place and reached Durham in just 40 minutes. It also has a railway station and if you are travelling from a faraway source, check the train option as road travel is exorbitantly expensive in Europe. Also railway connectivity is great.
What we did in Durham?
Durham Cathedral: When we reached Durham, the sun was gloriously shining on the immensity of the Cathedral. We walked inside and witnessed the prayers and rituals performed by the priests. There was an aura of palpable silence and a light of divinity that surrounded us. The carols, prayers and occasional ringing of the Church bell broke through the thick layer of silence and created a magical rhythm that unifies with the heartbeat. Unfortunately you are not allowed to click pictures inside the cathedral, hence I cannot support my words with visuals.
As I always mention that travelling is not just about getting to see a place, it is also about the people, their culture and life. We met this lovely lady called Chloe Sita Maria in Durham, her mid name Sita is inspired by the Indian Goddess of the same name. She explained that her father used to travel to India frequently and was touched by the people of our country and hence her name. My rendezvous with her story made my travel more fulfilling, since I am an author I always search intriguing tales. Thanks Sita for being a part of my journey.
This picture of Dhanya and me was taken by Sita
Durham Castle: There is also a beautiful Castle just opposite to the cathedral, showcasing typical European Architecture and bearing memories of many past rulers, some thunderous swords and some playful romances.
Durham Market: Later we went to a Patisserie Valerie outlet, where I enjoyed some fresh pancakes with cream and honey and of course a glassful of indulgent hot chocolate. The later was my thorough companion in my entire stay in the United Kingdom.
In the market area
After having satiated our bodily and soul’s food demands, we explored the nearby market. Durham has many good retail outlets and the Christmas aura was profound everywhere. People dressed like fairy tale characters were going around on the lanes. The sunny day, colors all around and the dominating influence of the cathedral and its resonating bell, made my visit completely worth it.
My share of fairy tale
Durham is a great place for a day trip. You can have your time with peace and silence, indulge in a walk by the River Wear and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee in a roadside bistro, as you watch the looming silhouette of the cathedral above you and resound with the divine ringing of the church bell.
Life is just like a fairy tale, a moment froze in my flowing story
Pictures courtesy Dhanya, Sita and Aritra