Tuesday, September 15, 2009
On Wednesday we had our first day trip to Dover and Canterbury. Catherine and I got up early and went for a morning run aka sprint because we had to hurry so we could shower and eat breakfast. It was intense, but definitely worth it. At 8am we were on the coach (as they say in England) and on our way to Dover. Mandi, LeAnn, Abby, Cath, and I managed to snag the back row, so we enjoyed getting seated and comfortable for the 2 hour drive. I predictably fell asleep almost immediately and woke up as we were arriving at the Dover Castle completely refreshed and ready to get going. They gave us 2 hours to wander the grounds and castle and we happily took advantage. Everyone was full of energy and wanting to take pictures every 15 seconds...it was great. Really though, we were having a lot of fun. I think the change of scenery had everybody really excited and revived from the city. As we continued making our way toward the castle the 5 of us went to an "Admiral Lookout" as they called it and it was absolutely admiral. We decided to have a "Dover photo shoot". It was too hard to resist with the wind blowing, the tripod waiting, and self-timer so conveniently placed on our cameras. We were sitting, laying, standing, posing, and just having a fabulous time. Well we eventually made it up to the castle where we met the "Dover King". He was very serious about his job and forced us to remain below him at all times. After we left him behind we climbed to the top of the castle and took some more pictures, of course! The wind was getting the best of us though, so we did the best we could. At 12:30pm we met back at the coach and enjoyed our sack lunches on the way to the beach. The beach was beautiful. We had a perfect view of the famous Whitecliffs of Dover, and you could even see the coast of France across the English Channel. After wandering around there for a little while we hopped back on the coach and had quick drive to Canterbury.
Canterbury was a charming little town with lots of shops and lots of people. The best part about it though was the famous cathedral. It's massive, and so old, and beautiful. We were lucky enough to get a tour of it from the sweetest old man. He took us through every inch of it and explained all the history behind it. We learned about the monks, the kings, and how the architecture and stain glass windows came to be. I really enjoyed it. By the time we were finished it was time to head back to the coach. Catherine and I made a quick stop by McDonald's to pick up a Diet Coke with extra ice (of course), and then we hopped on the coach and were on our way. When we got back to our flat everyone was pretty hungry so we all went out in search of food. Cath and I picked up some tomato mozerella sandwiches from a cafe down the street and it tasted delicious. I went to bed that night exhausted, but totally happy with the day we spent in Dover and Canterbury.