Thursday, 6th April, 2023

We were a bit sluggish to get moving this morning after a very late night. After enjoying a buffet breakfast at the Norfolk Royale Hotel, we headed toward Torquay. After about an hour, we had what was going to be a short break for a cup of tea but which turned out to be almost an hour as we tried to work out how to get our Peugeot to think in miles rather than kilometres and a few other settings we wanted to change. This being achieved we set off again and arrived at Torre Abbey 2:15pm. There is very little left of the abbey church as it was almost completely destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. Other sections of the buidling did survive and, after many years of various alterations and additions, was purchased by the local council. After we had paid for our tickets, I asked the attendant if they had a map we could follow. I was a bit taken aback by her answer which was, "Sorry, we haven't got one, it's too hard to map. If you get lost, just look for a lift and go down!" After we had walked through the many rooms, we realised that what she had said was true. It was very difficult even to work out which rooms were on which floor. There are stairs all over the place which take one to various floors but they are not of an even height. It would be a wonderful place for a game of "Hide and Seek!"

After a very nice Devonshire Tea at the Abbey's tearooms, we ventured to the Babbacombe Cliff Railway. Disappointingly, it was closed for renovation. Our plans to visit the model village were also thwarted as we had not realised that the last entry was 90 minutes before closing time and we arrived there an hour before!

On to Exeter! Much of the road was quite narrow and we went the wrong way a couple of times (how people managed at all before the advent of "Siri" was difficult to fathom). When we got to Exeter, it took about 15 mins to actually find Leonardo Hotel but we eventually got there and found another comfortable room in which to stay.

We had dinner at Burger King and then made our way to the Cathedral for the Maundy Thursday Service. This was well-attended and the large choir of boys and men provided much music during the two-hour Service. The music consisted of the inroit "In ieiunio et fletu orabant sacerdotes" by Thomas Tallis, the setting for the service in G by Francis Jackson, "Ubi caritas" by Maurice Duruflé, "Sicut cervus" by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Psalm 22 (plainsong, sung by the men only) and "Tantum ergo" by Maurice Duruflé. The hymns were "Come Down, O Love Divine" sung to "Down Ampney", "An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare" sung to "O Waly Waly", "O Thou Who at Thy Eucharist Didst Pray" sung to "Song 1" and "Of the Glorious Body Telling".

When we left the relative warmth of the Cathedral, we were greeted with a clear, cold night. When we got back to hotel, we decided a drink would be nice. I had a port and Satoshi had a gin and tonic. A very pleasant way to finish off a great day!

Our car for the next three months is comfortable and easy to drive. It has a multitude of technological possibilities but it is not easy to navigate the settings to make changes.

The gates to Torre Abbey

A swan atop one of the gate posts

The Abbey is quite impressive at first sight.

The weather was kind to us again today!

A tree in blossom in Exeter

The western end of Exeter Cathedral

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