I am back from my pilgrim’s journey from Edinburgh to London to Dover to Canterbury to Chesterfield and I am tired. I have a day to recover before another adventure begins. In the meantime, I will catch up on posts and show you what I saw along the way.
Welcome to Dover. Let’s start with the castle. Because castles are awesome. We all know it.
While I was quite sure I wanted to visit the castle, Joelle wondered if it was worth the somewhat hefty entrance fee. What made this castle so special?
It won her over fairly quickly.
Dover Castle is incredibly impressive. Ostentatiously affixed atop the white cliffs, this fortress makes a statement: I dare you to attack these walls. Just try.
Inside, we found a miniature of the inner keep. Napoleon (my megalomaniacal pocket-sized traveling companion) was pleased to find somewhere scaled to make him look the right size… but he wants the real one, thank you. Napoleon has always dreamed of conquering England, after all.
The interior of the massive keep is brightly decorated and, since it was Easter weekend, was also staffed by jesters, courtiers, and a king. Henry II, to be exact.
Here, he is narrating the story of how he elevated his friend Thomas to the rank of archbishop of Canterbury and then had his head chopped off. The children listening to the story seemed to enjoy it…
From the very top towers, the views of the city and the coast and the channel are superb.
Yes, Napoleon, you have conquered the castle. Down with the English and all that.
Our entire weekend was gray and rainy, but at Dover, we caught sight of some precious sunlight and blue sky.
Down below the castle are tunnels used, if I remember the plaques correctly, during the World Wars to stash things.
Let’s see… which dark, mysterious tunnel is the correct choice and which ones lead to certain and horrible death? I know how these movies turn out…
This lovely church has been around for a thousand years, an example of Anglo-Saxon architecture. It stood on its hilltop and watched William the Conqueror march on Dover. Oh, the history!
Beside the church is this pharos (a Roman lighthouse) that’s been around even longer. Supposedly a Roman soldier still haunts the premises. He wasn’t gracious enough to make an appearance when we visited, though.
We left the castle and made our way to the White Cliffs for the second half of our day. Due to some poor map reading on my part and some poor directions on the part of a staff worker at the castle, we ended up taking pretty much the longest possible route around the town to get to the cliffs, but we made it and had a gratifying view when we finally approached them from the road out by the channel.
You may have noticed, if you’ve seen enough of my posts, that I have a certain fondness for lamp posts pictures. Here is my Lamp Post Next to White Cliffs portrait.
Up we went along the steep stairs and inclined path to the top to see the beautiful jutting white cliffs. We were exhausted by the time we got up there, but the sky cleared just enough to give the illusion of warmth and good weather that we desperately needed.
Below, you will see a dream being carried out. Yes, that is me standing in a dramatic, somewhat ridiculous pose on the cliffs. I am channeling Derek Jacobi’s chorus role from the Henry V film when he walked the cliffs and narrated Henry V’s crossing to Calais.
Because I want my fortitude to be appreciated, you should know that my backpack was wickedly heavy. I carried it… all day.
The road back provided a nice view of white cliffs and looming castle.
Not to be outdone, Napoleon found his own White Cliffs and promptly conquered them.
Back in town, we had a short while to wander the pretty streets before we made our way to the train station to head to Canterbury. The pilgrimage continues… but that’s for another post because I am, quite frankly, exhausted.