Friday, August 8, 2014

A Weekend in Kent- Part 1: Dover

This past weekend I planned a trip for us to visit the White Cliffs of Dover.  I had an old song book as a child with a song "The White Cliffs of Dover" in it and an illustration of an army officer and beautiful lady singing by the cliffs.  I've always wanted to see the them.  So we rented a car and headed out.

The only car we were able to find was a manual.  Porter was less than excited to drive a stick shift on the opposite side, but he was a trooper and did great.  I should mention that he also drove this car through the heart of London.  I don't know how he did it, I would have cried the first 10 minutes and gone home.  I may add that he did have a pretty great navigator, it may have made the drive a wee bit better.  It took us about an hour to get out of the city and then an hour to the coast in Kent.

Our first stop of the day was Dover Castle.  This fabulous castle is a top the majestic Cliffs of Dover.  It is surprisingly intact.  I'm sure a ton of restorative work has been done on it, but it's still really cool.  It was by far one of my favorite castles I've ever been too.  It has many levels to it and we could also walk on the roof.  I loved going through all the sneaky passage ways to get from one room to another without being seen.  Porter told me they were probably the servants passage ways.  Dover Castle was home to King Henry and Queen Eleanor (the peeps from "Lion in Winter").  I have always loved that play, so it was fun to see where those characters would have actually lived.  On the castle grounds there was also an old roman lighthouse and a large church, plus barracks and other buildings that one would expect a fortress to have.

Dover Castle

Roman Lighthouse and very old Anglo-Saxon Church

I made Porter pose for me in front of the church door.

Porter found some toys in the castle.

It is good to be the Queen (as long as you're not getting beheaded and such).

They had a fire going in one of the bedrooms in the castle!

On the steps of the Palace!  I just couldn't help myself.  (For those of you who don't know, I've played Cinderella in various shows, and love her!)  Although, the Toms were a little less than historically accurate.

Next stop on our trip was the White Cliffs of Dover.  So I typed it into google maps and began navigating.  We were heading toward the coast on a cute little country road, then the road turned and became a dirt road.  Still quite normal, but then this little road began having huge divots and pots holes filled with water.  Keep in mind that we were in a mini sized rental car.  Porter was not amused. But I assured him that we were on the blue line and that google was taking us to the Cliffs.  All of a sudden we were in a field, and the "road" was a little path in between a fence and a hedge.  It was barely big enough for a mini car to fit in.  Porter was like "there is no way we are going down there."  But I told him that google said so.  So he tried.  He started freaking out when the hedge was so close to the car that it was scratching the doors.  (We didn't want to get fined for scratching up the rental.)  So he carefully put the car into reverse and gingerly retreated.  It took us 15 minutes to get out of that field. I kept trying to re-route us but google was insistent that we go to the tractor field.  So I said screw it, and took matters into my own hands.  That's right people, I began navigating by only looking at a map, all old school like ;)  And ya know what, I got us there in 10 minutes.  Granted I took us right through a path where a wedding was, but at least it was an actual road.  Despite google's attempts we made it to the cliffs!

This is us and our mini car after getting out of the tiny path in the field.

The White Cliffs of Dover

This was a packed day so I will finish up in another post.

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