29. Diary Entry: Dover,Battle of Hastings/Eastbourne

Dear Diary,

Yesterday was a fantastic day. At 8 o’ clock in the morning, we went to Dover Castle by Bus.

Before we started our trip to Canterbury, every student had to write a chapter for a reader, so that everyone could read about the sights we were going to visit during the excursion. I had to write about the history of the Dover Castle from 800BC until the Civil War. During the ride, I was very excited to visit the castle, because I already knew a lot about it from the internet and the books I have read in order to write the chapter. We arrived one hour after our departure at the university of Kent and went in. We started to discover the castle in small groups. The first thing we saw was the Roman lighthouse and the St. Mary’s church. Surprisingly, the twobuildings were well preserved, although they are the oldest ones in the area of the Dover Castle.

The church was very small so that big people have difficulties to get there because of the small doors and the little space inside. After that, we went to the castle itself. It was a huge building with many floors and many steps. We felt lost inside the big walls of the Dover Castle, because there were many small ways and small rooms. Most of the rooms were very big and inside the bedrooms people had chimneys in order to heat the rooms in the winter.You could easily recognize that these rooms were for the king and his family. The area of the Dover Castle is incredible big. From the rooftop of the Dover Castle you could see the whole area. I understand why the place were the castle was built had many advantages for the king and the people who lived there. You can see the sea and the channel, as well as the whole territory around the castle. What I didn’t know before is that there are two different tunnel systems inside the castle’ area. First, the workers built the medieval tunnels and afterwards the secret wartime tunnels were built. We weren’t allowed to visit the medieval tunnels, but there was a guided tour to visit the secret wartime tunnels. It was scary and fascinating at the same time to see a whole village under the earth. There has been an underground hospital and a military command centre during the Second World War. The guide told us, that the tunnels are one of the most hunted buildings in Great Britain. That really scared me and gave me are a special feeling during the tour in the inside of the five floors of the underground area. The tour included documentations and movies about the Second World War. At the end of the tour we could see the Second World War Coastal Artillery Operations Room. It was a good feeling to breath fresh air after the tour through the underground system of the Dover Castle. I couldn’t imagine living there, really!
After our stay at Dover Castle, we went to the white Cliffs of Kent. The chalk cliffs are the
country’s landmark and don’t just impress the people coming by the ferry to Great Britain.
The weather was fantastic and so we decided to take a walk along the cliffs and take some pictures with our group.

On Wednesday, we went to Hastings to visit the place where the famous Battle of Hastings took place. It was a very old building, which reminded me on a castle or some other old and impressive building. The ride to this place took nearly two hours, but that wasn’t a problem for us. While the bus ride we played a game called “If I were you”. Someone told a challenge and another one had to deal with it. This game was very funny. I really love that Great Britain has so many old buildings evenly spread over the whole country. While the stay at Hastings, some people decided to not go into the sight and spend some time in the park nearby.

After everyone finished the tour through the Battle Abbey, it took us another 2-hour ride to get to Eastbourne, a small town at the coast. I have seen a few pictures of Eastborn before, but I was still impressed by its beauty. I loved the near to the coast. We went through the old streets and bought a meal at a market. It was delicious! Afterwards, we met the rest of our group at the beach. One boy brought a loudspeaker box, so we could enjoy the sunny weather while listening to some music. A few people decided to swim in the sea although the water was very cold. We didn’t sit on the sand but on little stones and everyone looked for the prettiest or funniest one. Because my grandmother knows a lot about stones, I could tell the others a few things about the stones they found. We sat there for about four hours, just enjoying the sun and having fun with each other. At 10 o’ clock the government of Eastborn made a big firework at the beach. People could listen to a concert of classic music for twelve pounds while watching the firework at the sky. It was a beautiful firework with many colours.

All in all, it was a fantastic excursion and I enjoyed meeting other people and
learning more about the British country. I found new friends and I hope we will stay in
contact after the excursion. I have been to London before, but I hadn’t got the chance yet to discover Great Britain by its beautiful landscape and impressive culture. I hope to return to England soon. I also really loved Canterbury, because it is such a small city with beautiful old streets and houses and so much nature. Maybe it is possible for me to make a semester abroad. I will return either way to refresh my memories.