On Sunday myself and The Top Of My Cliffs went out on a day trip to Dover. Southeastern Rail are currently doing an offer where you can get a day return ticket for a tenner, so she has been taking full advantage of this with various trips to Seaside Locations via the High Speed line that goes from Stratford International i.e. at the end of our road, and she had enjoyed DOVER so much she had decided to take me along for a look too.
Our original plan had been to go on Saturday but the weather forecast looked rotten, so we went on Sunday instead and CRIKEY this was a good idea, for LO! Saturday was typical School Summer Holiday weather (GREY) whereas Sunday was GLORIOUS. I got sunburnt! In England!
Upon arrival we stomped into town and went for a look at the Bronze Age Boat in Dover Museum. We'd seen something similar a few months ago when we went to Flag Fen so I was expecting something similar to that, and thus was ASTOUNDED when I entered the gallery to find a PROPER ENORMOUS BOAT sitting there. At Flag Fen you had to peer through a window to look at a TANK which, apparently, had a log boat in it somewhere, but here the boat was right there in the gallery, behind perspex but fully visible in all its glory. And COR what glory it was - it was deeply MOVING seeing something SO old (3,500 years old in fact) that had clearly been put together by human hands. Seeing where it had been carved out, hammered and tied together, it was MIND-BLOWING, to feel suddenly connected to people who had lived so very very long ago but were clearly so similar to us now. The other displays around it were brill too - I have, for instance, seen a LOT of Bronze Age Axe Heads on display over the years, but I never realised how they fitted onto the axe shafts before, or how the shafts were made. Children of KENT: you are BLESSED to have such things to be inevitably forced to see on school trips!
No less impressive were the White Cliffs of Dover, which we walked to next and then UP. The paths along the clifftop were full of people from all over the WORLD, out on this lovely sunny day to see a) A Part Of British Culture b) some LOVELY countryside. It was beautiful up there, and the fact that over the edge you could see the FERRY port added to the whole feeling of DELIGHT. All day long, as we walked to the lighthouse and back, you could see ferries coming and going, and you could also see FRANCE off in the distance. Flipping FRANCE! We both got text messages from our respective phone service providers saying "Welcome To France" while we were up there, THAT's how close we were!
Our walk took us to South Foreland Lighthouse where we stopped to have the picnic lunch which The Hummus On My Pitta had SOURCED. As we sat on the grass a Spitfire flew past. We, and all the other picnickers, looked up and smiled - yes, of course, we're on The White Cliffs Of Dover, why wouldn't we see a Spitfire? It was only when it had gone that I realised that this WASN'T necessarily something you'd see every day, so was very pleased when it flew back again so we could appreciate it properly!
It was a GRATE day out, also containing TEA and CAKE in the Visitor Centre (provided by the aforesaid Jam In My Victoria Sponge, who was TREATING me the whole day!), PONIES on the clifftop, a paddle in the sea and TRAIN BEERS on the way home. Best of all, it took less than an HOUR to get back home and when we arrived at the station it was only 5 minutes from our house! What more could you ask for? HOORAH for the seaside!