In the morning we drove to the White Cliffs. (After a tasty continental breakfast wherein I consumed multiple croissants and Simon consumed pork and beans. For breakfast? Seriously?)
What you are actually seeing here is the English Channel, and you can barely make out the coast of France across the way. By late afternoon the haze had lifted and it was much clearer. I managed to get a picture in between ferries. It’s very busy with boats and ferries going back and forth across to France.
There have been many things that have fallen short of the way I imagined them. Reality is sometimes disappointing. But the White Cliffs of Dover gave me the special experience of being better than I imagined them. They were majestic and I felt euphoric standing on the edge with the sea breeze blowing my hair and feeling on top of the world. They have their own beauty, sheer white cliffs so high it takes your breath away. And history too- I imagined what a welcome sight they were to many an Englishman sailing home from the mainland. I could have stood there, or sat down for a really long time if it weren’t for hungry and tired kids, who probably needed to use a toilet. (Or poor Cameron’s desperate pleas for me to come away from the edge.)
The Dover Harbour. We didn’t actually read any history about it but it seems to be old and brilliant. What a perfect way to protect the castle above. Richard did read that when the Romans first came to conquer England they docked their ships and wreaked havoc on the local people. But they were a land army and didn’t understand the ocean. At night when the tide came in it crashed all their boats into the rock cliffs and badly damaged them. All they could do was repair their boats and go home. They didn’t come back to the English coast for hundreds of years after that.
It took most of the morning to hike out to the viewpoint and back. There was a lighthouse Eli really wanted to walk to, but we were pushing our luck with the kids and so we didn’t go for it. We grabbed lunch in the town of Dover and then went to the castle.