23. Diary Entry: A day in Margate

Day 7 – Friday, 11. September 2015

It all started Friday morning when I woke up. As usual, the first thing I did, was checking my phone. It was very quiet in our apartment, probably because the others were still asleep. I was exhausted and tired and had a great lack of motivation for the planned castle inspection today. Luckily, I was not alone with this opinion. The other ones, Benny, Elise, Patricia, Julian, Louisa, Max, Kira, Aiken, Sasha and Kili had already texted via WhatsApp about the fact that today, it would be quite nice to get a good night’s sleep in rest and to put up an alternative plan for the day, which should look a little more relaxed: An excursion to the beach.

Therefore, we decided not to join the planned trip with the remaining excursion group. The most of us wanted to sleep a little bit or stay a little longer in bed, so we decided to drive off about midday. We only had to find out which neighbour town has to offer the nicest beach – and of course, how we should get there. After we became conscious about the fact, that the chance to find a British car agency, who would rent a car to 20-year-old German students, is kind of very, very low, somebody searched out a train connection to Margate, a small town close to the British coast.

After an extensive breakfast with Patricia and Louisa, consisting out of British untoasted toast with jam and tea, I wrapped up optimistically my short trousers.

The train from Canterbury to Margate drives off every hour from the Canterbury west station. We wanted to get the train at 13 o’clock and left our lodging at quarter past twelve. We got to the railway station with the university bus. After a long procedure with the ticket machine of the small Canterbury west station, we finally got all our tickets. Although the route to Margates takes approximately half an hour, the tickets cost only 5.50 Pounds.

We were able to recognize that Margate is a small town by the small railway station, as soon as we got out of the train. Our plan was to go to the sea and take some stopovers in between. The first stop was at a supermarket to stuff our pockets full with food for the trip. After the caught-cold persons of us leaved the chemist’s shop and re-joined us, we continued our way to the beach. A small fruit and greengrocery shop attracted our full attention: Strawberries, peaches, apples – I have not eaten this kind of food for almost over a week and I was very happy to buy some fruits.

In Margate, stairs led from the main shopping street down to the beach. We crossed the street, stood on top of the stairs and we experienced an incredible moment. Everybody probably thought the same: “We took the right decision.”
Sandy beach, numerous people in bath suits, beaming sun, blue sky – this were the things we all were wishing for. As if we had a time travel back to these stunning, nice and perfect summer days.

We selected a place on the sand and it did not last long until we started to look for a place to change. A couple of us put on their swimming suits and disappeared in the sea. It was really comfortable to lay under the sun, even if the wind was a little fresh – but it did not disturb my summer vacation illusion. Elise, Louisa and I walked along the beach. It was full of countlessly many mussels and nice white stones. The water was actually not really warm, but it was pleasantly fresh for the season.

I spent the remaining hours on the beach, laying half-asleep under the sun which was slowly setting down. About 5 o’clock, the wind became a little colder, and five of us decided to head back to Canterbury. I joined them and the remaining wanted to follow us later and stayed at the beach.

On our way to the railway station, we passed by a small magic store which sold exclusively witchcraft accessories. I had a look in it and it encouraged my impression of the region Kent that remind me of the settings of the famous movie “Harry Potter”. It cheeres me up, as I love these movies.

Back in Canterbury, we got stuck again in a supermarket, as some of us still needed to buy some ingredients for the dinner. Thus we missed the first bus to the university. Additionally, we did not get into the second bus, because we thought it was the wrong one. Unfortunately, this turned out too late and we still had to wait for a while for the next one. This was still not a reason for us to get back on foot. Finally, after roughly 60 British minutes and approximately 30 acapella songs, which we were singing, we boarded the right bus.

Shortly after our arrival I snuggled myself exhausted in my bed. After some rest, Louisa and I started to make dinner.

We already had planned to cook Indian curry-rice. Kai was sitting in the kitchen, too, and observed us amused, while we were cooking; especially, as the still deep-frozen turkey, we were roasting ended up in smoke. Unfortunately, it was the wrong decision to continue to roast the turkey in hope that the smoke would dissolve. Instead it became more intense and the fire detector began to cheep. A look from our front door revealed me that not only our fire alarm was triggered: All the other fellow students were running down the stairs in panic to the exit. In the meantime, the others tried to open the windows wide and to reach the university headquarters by telephone, all in vain. We gave up after a while and joined the others, who stood right behind the entrance of the house and looked anything but amused. Some looked as they were snatched from sleep or the shower. Many had packed up their valuable items in the haste, but others only wanted to rescue their dinner from the flames. Finally, it seemed as if some of our fellow students had accepted our excuses. The university security, who came along to look if everything was okay in our house, did not seem to experience this for the first time. They searched for a possible fire and left after approximately 15 minutes, so we were finally allowed to enter our apartments again.

Back in the kitchen, Louisa and I continued to cook our Indian dinner and roasted the turkey without any smoke incident. After all, it was even very tasty! We spend the remaining evening playing Phase 10 and enjoying a glass of Cider with some fellow students in our kitchen.