Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day in Dover

Mm, I’m tired. I’m going to sleep that deep, delicious sleep you can only achieve by being crazy busy the day of said sleep. I am knackered.

Today is day one of our Great German Adventure. We left our house at about 8 am this morning, as scheduled and made good time to Dover, even though the GPS took us further into London than we would have liked. We had no problems finding the B & B that we reserved online. It’s a quaint, older house in the middle of town that smells like a grandmother and is really cozy and welcoming.

After settling in, we headed for Dover Castle. Although it’s really close to the B&B, the massive hill it resides on and the extensive grounds make it worth driving to, unless you’re keen on being exhausted from the get go. We were able to park in a nearby field and took a shuttle up to the ticket booth near the castle. Caleb wasn't too terribly happy when we arrived at the Castle.

The castle itself is definitely worth a visit. You ever visit a castle or stately home and think, “Huh. This is?” Dover is not that castle. In fact, we ran out of time to explore everything! And by “ran out of time,” I actually mean “ran out of stamina and were frustrated for not bringing the stroller along.” The Great Tower itself is not stroller friendly, but there is a “buggy park,” and the rest of the grounds pretty much require a little help from a set of wheels. I myself was wishing for a stroller to sit in.

We managed to make it down to the Medieval tunnels, which are a really interesting feature of the castle’s defensive system. . We got to go down below the castle and see where the soldiers would have lined their cannons and muskets in defense of the castle.

Unfortunately, we were too wiped out to make it to the war time tunnels, a complex of tunnels which were initially built as barracks during the 18th century but utilized as late as WWII as an underground hospital and operations and communications center, among other things. Unfortunately, we were just too tired to make our reserved time for the tour, so we’ll have to come back another time. It sounds like it is really cool!

Despite our exhaustion, we did make it to the White Cliffs, which are pretty stinking gorgeous. We couldn’t have picked a more perfect day to visit Dover; it was beautiful! We took a nice, slow walk along the cliffs and watched ferries sailing in and out of the ports. You can see the horizon of France from the coast of Dover on a good day. Interesting side note: when I was standing on the edge looking towards France, my cell phone received a text message from Vodafone welcoming me to France and informing me of the rates!

Tomorrow it’ll be our turn to be on one of those ferries! We’re off in the morning for Calais followed by a short drive to Bruges, Belgium. Can’t wait! For now, though, I better get some sleep. :)

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