Here are the pictures from Day 4.
On Day 4, of our epic journey through the Isle of Great Britain, we left the big city of London and journeyed to the town of Dover.
It was fantastic!
Early in the morning, we took a train from Streatham Hill Station to London Victoria Station, where we got on a train to Dover Priory Station. When we got in it was fairly damp, with a biting wind. We could taste the salt on the air, and we knew that we were at the coast–we were about to see the English Channel and the White Cliffs of Dover.
We walked through the outskirts of the town, where we could see the Castle fortress looming over the Channel on the cliffs. We started looking for a visitor’s centre, which is located in the “front” of a church in the town. In reality, somehow, the front of the building is in a courtyard on the side of the church. After finally finding the information centre, we set out for the pier where we could see the cliffs.
We got to the pier and finally got to see the White Cliffs rising out of the English Channel. It was fantastic. You’ll see in The Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson–both absolutely essential for such an occasion! We even dipped our feet in the cold water!that I’m holding up the poem entitled “Dover Beach,” by Matthew Arnold. It’s an excellent poem, containing some excellent imagery, and you can find the text at the bottom of this page. We also listened to “
Here’s a video from the beach.
We made our way to the path that leads up to Dover Castle. I just want to say that, if any army every attempted to invade the castle–I’d give it to them as a congratulatory award. It’s INSANELY steep!
Once we got to the top, it started snowing a bit. No accumulation, but it happened! We got to explore the castle–all the tour guides and employees, save 2 reenactors, were on strike that day, so we didn’t get any information about the castle interior, but it was fun to look around. We went to the roof where we got a great view of the town and Channel.
We then went to the Roman Pharos (lighthouse), over 1500 years old! as well as the Anglo-Saxon church adjacent it. Here is a video from between the castle and the pharos.
I got my first real English Fish & Chips in Dover, and it was pretty good, though nothing mind-blowing. However, I had some great Fish & Chips the next day which was grand.
We left Dover and passed through Canterbury. I wish I had known the train would go through Canterbury, because I would have stopped there. The Cathedral rises over the rest of the town, dwarfing all else. I know why people were awed in past centuries when they went on their pilgrimages to the town.
When we got back into London, before going to our show,we went to Trafalgar Square to visit the National Gallery. It was exquisite! We saw some Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and many others. I had seen little bits of each before, one at a time, but there were multiples of each! It was excellent! Can’t believe it…
We also came across a great shop: The Doctor Who shop! Great times–and I’m surprised at myself for not buying everything in the store!
We then took a quick tube to 221b Baker Street. I couldn’t believe we were seeing it! I know Sherlock Holmes never existed, but it was impressive to be there, the “location” of all his adventures.
That evening we saw Les Miserables. It was a dream come true! My parents had played that CD for my entire life. I had all the songs memorized, but I had never seen it. Finally! It doesn’t compare to the original cast, but that in no way implies that the performance was poor. I got shivers a few times!
My brother slept.
All in all, a truly excellent day.
“Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.