Posted by: lindsaygoes | September 19, 2010

Dover and London

White Cliffs of Dover


So I’ve had a reasonably busy week this week.

On my day off on Thursday I made the spontaneous decision to catch the train to Dover, because the White Cliffs were something I wanted to see.

By the time I arrived it was looking a little cloudy, but I wasn’t put off and I headed along the docks, and then realised how high the cliffs looked from the bottom! But I kept going, and climbed lots of stairs until I made it to the National Trust visitor center (where I should have bought some chocolate), and then had a walk along the cliffs to the South Foreland Lighthouse. Along the way, I got told I could take a shortcut by someone, but that I’d need to be ‘careful’. Well, about 10 meters along the shortcut I decided that as I don’t possess any mountain goat jeans, I’d head back. At which point I realised that even that might be a bit of a struggle. So clinging on to tufts of grass I hauled myself up, and then made my way up the shorter, but safer path! It was a lovely walk up to the Lighthouse, with a surprising number of people for a Thursday!

Once I reached the Lighthouse it was closed, so I kept going for a little bit, until it started getting a little bit chilly and I thought it was time to head back. For some reason I hadn’t noticed the number of hills and steps I’d come down on the way, which I then had to climb up. But I ended up having a bit of a break at the Visitor Center, where I did buy some chocolate, which was made by a traditional English method. To be honest, I would have preferred a traditional Swiss or Belgian method.

Then I walked down all those stairs from the morning to get to Dover Castle, where I got to see some old wartime tunnels, which were really well set up with a hospital, the old mess and kitchens and snippets of overheard conversations. From there I managed to find the castle (they’d given me a French map – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it), where there were a lot more stairs to get to the top, where it was raining! But the inside was lovely, with log fires and all the rooms set up really well.

Once I was done in the castle, it was time to go home and have a rest!

Yesterday, after working in the morning, I caught the train into London where I ran into groups of people who had just seen the Pope. I was a little amused to see an Anglican and Catholic arguing on a street corner, but moved on so I wasn’t grabbed by anyone trying to convert me. It was Open House London weekend, and I met up with a Meetup group, London Cultureseekers Group, which was a lovely way to see some of the sights and meet some new people (naturally, some of them were Australians!).

I’d missed the first stop because I was working, but then we went to Marlborough House, the International Headquarters of the Commonwealth, which had some amazing paintings and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. I did have to point out the Australian flag to the other Aussie’s, who’d missed it and were miffed that they could only find the New Zealand one. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go into the garden’s because Prince Charles was having a party there to promote sustainability. Well, we could have gone to it, but would have had to pay £15.

St Stephen Walbrook Church


Next we headed to St Stephen Walbrook Church by tube, where we had someone falling asleep on one of the other group member’s shoulders. The church was also designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and had a lovely open feel to it, with it’s lovely dome.

A few of us decided we didn’t need forty minutes in the church and so headed to the pub after about 10 minutes, so we could grab some chairs (in the sun as well!), and once everyone else arrived we took the top off the table, because underneath was a Foosball table, so we had lots of fun with that. No one was really counting scores (although it did get quite competitive), but I’m pretty sure the team I was on won. And as no one can prove otherwise, I’m going to stick with that story!

And then it was the end of the day and time to head home!

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