"" Writer's Wanderings: My Canterbury Tales

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Canterbury Tales

White Cliffs of Dover
The cruise aboard Crystal Serenity ended in Dover, England. Following the contractual agreement with my husband (I will get off the ship quietly and without a fuss if you have already booked the next cruise) I disembarked without making a scene. Before leaving however, I grabbed a few shots of the white cliffs of Dover. The last time we ended a cruise in Dover, it was a bit hazy and I never got a good picture. The cliffs truly are white. Amazing.

Punting on the River Stour
We caught a taxi to the bus station in town and waited a couple of hours for our bus. When we booked the passage, we allowed plenty of time in case there was a delay in leaving the ship (caused by someone other than me). While I sat with the suitcases, Bob went off to mail a card and find us some Americano coffees. I was happy to sit and enjoy the people around me as they came and went.

Canterbury City Wall
While we could have taken a train, we preferred the bus. It went a little slower and we could see more of the countryside that way. The other plus was that the luggage got stowed in the compartment in the bottom of the bus rather than us having to lug it up/down stairs and onto a train where there really is little room if any to stow cruise-sized suitcases. And we have always found the National Express bus people to be very accommodating. As a matter of fact, when Bob inquired of one bus drivers if we might leave on his earlier bus, he said he had plenty of room and would be happy to take us. We hopped on!

Canterbury Park
Arriving about an hour later in Canterbury's main bus terminal, we collected the suitcases and took a taxi to Harriet House, our B&B for our stay. Luckily our room was ready and we could leave our things in it and take off to begin to explore Canterbury. We had been here on a one day trip but wanted to see more. Our host at the B&B explained where the river walk into town was and we found it easily. We also found an information booth where all the tour buses park that sold audio tours. We picked them up later for use the next day.
Chimney Pots

As the Aussies would say we spent the afternoon doing a walkabout, taking pictures and soaking up the quaint English scenery the town offers. The weather was again gorgeous. I think we set a record for how many days straight on vacation we could have perfect weather. As we walked on top of the historic city wall, we could look below to the park area and see the Brits out enjoying the weather. As they say in Seattle, they were taking a sun break.
Canterbury Castle
One of my favorite things to see in England is all the chimney pots on top of the homes. Each time I look at them I expect Mary Poppins and Bert to pop out and start dancing.

Canterbury Castle Interior
We stumbled upon the Canterbury Castle and decided to have a closer look even though we were sure the tour would take us by there again. The castle is the ruin of a Norman Castle built shortly after the Battle of Hastings dating back to around 1070. It was one of three castles built along the Roman Road from Dover to London and was probably used to guard it. Later it became a jail.

A look inside shows where there must have been beams for the second floor. Most of the stone we could see that was used in building the castle was flint. It gave a neat texture to the walls.

While we were loving the weather, it was getting very warm and a bit humid. Was this really England? We headed back to our B&B to relax, cool off a bit with our room fan (no A/C, this was England) and catch up on our internet activities.

For dinner it was, what else? Fish and chips!!

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