29 September 2011--I manage to get out at a reasonable hour this morning, and spend a few hours
examining Lincoln Castle. William the Conqueror had this built immediately after the conquest, the initial
construction being completed as early as 1068. The fortification took advantage of Lincoln's strategic
location at the nexus of several major transportation corridors, notably Ermine Street, the old Roman
road connecting London to York, and provided a regional center for mobilization of forces in defense against
Danish invasion across a good stretch of coast and along a number of important inland waterways.
A museum in the castle houses one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, and interprets its significance, as well as that of the subsequent Charter of the Forest. This latter gave all free men rights of forage and pasture, among other provisions. It was Britain's longest-standing statute, remaining in effect until the passage of modern environmental laws in 1971.
A sandwich at the castle's café is lunch. It's warmer even than yesterday, and once again I feel an early-afternoon crash coming on. But I push through it, and spend some time at the ruined Bishop's Palace, just below the cathedral. After that, I intend to visit the Lincoln Collection, a museum of archeological artifacts, but cannot find it right away. Return instead to the castle to get photos of the cathedral's western façade in afternoon sun. I then surrender to the Strugglers Inn, where a representative from the importer of the Dutch lager Grolsch is giving out free (and very small) samples. Remarkably, none of the real ale drinkers in residence say anything rude to him. I myself manage to say "It's a nice lager" when he asks my opinion, and he is diplomatic enough to accept that as a compliment.
Stop back at the B&B, then find dinner at a Mexican place on the waterfront, which seems a little less charming each time I visit. After, I cross the bridge south onto the High Street, in the decidedly non-touristy part of town. Find the local Wetherspoon's and have a pint. That's enough of that. Last pint at the Queen in the West, and then to bed. It's been a short two days here, but long enough to see the basics. I'd be more than happy to land here again some time.