On the 7th of September we made our way with the coach to Dover Castle. Our group left the accommodation in Parkwood very early. Especially for those who had a long night in Canterbury’s pubs before. But we wanted to get early to Dover Castle where we needed plenty of time to discover everything because it is very rich of history. Most of us were not very happy to visit an old and ancient castle and we weren’t lucky about the thought of driving almost two hours to our destination. When we arrived after wriggling through many narrow turns and twists, with our coach definitely too large for those streets, we divided the group in two smaller ones. One group went hiking with Tom and we were going to meet them in the afternoon in another town at the seaside.So they were prepared for a very long hike.
At the entrance of the English Heritage Castle we went through the next shock. The price for entering was high above the price we had estimated before: it was about almost 20£ which was more than the most of us were willing to pay and which seemed quiet expensive. But our group joker Keith is a genius in bargaining! After a short discussion with the young lady at the cash register everyone had to pay only about 7£ which, in our thoughts, was more appropriate for visiting these old buildings.
As we entered the Castle amazed unexpectedly with it’s beautifulness. Caro and I went alone to discover this big and mysterious estate. At first we went to the hospital tunnel which was very interesting with knowledgeable staff. But the Dynamo tunnels were a bit of a let down as it was mainly videos on the walls of the tunnels. Nevertheless we experienced the sights, sounds and smells of this authentic underground hospital. We saw the living conditions in the tunnels and heard about the difficulties of treating injuries in such close proximity to falling enemy bombs in the Second World War.
After that we run back in time. After a lots of walking around the buildings and through small tunnels where we found medieval cannons, we went to an old Roman Lighthouse and the Saxon church which were very interesting too. When we were at the oldest surviving Lighthouse in the country we made a long picknick and enjoyed the sun and the view over the coast of Dover. The weather was very good so that we had a very broad view across the Channel and we could almost see the edging of France out there on the sea.There were lots of other little bits within the castle walls to keep you occupied for hours. So we went to the Great Tower. The Great Tower was a good setup with how it would have been hundreds of years ago and was interesting. You could step inside the medieval tower and immerse yourself in a medieval palace like no other.
Known as the ‘key to England’, we learned a lot about the castles’ history, how it was to live there in the medieval times and about the insentience through two world wars.
After a couple of hours later we went back to our coach. As always we had to wait a long time till all students were back in and we were ready to start again. We drove to the White Cliffs of Dover. As before, we weren’t so sure whether the bus driver knows the route or if he drove the way he thought he was right with. All those small streets didn’t seem to be the right way. But then finally we arrived at these beautiful cliffs in Saint Margretes at Cliff. Later it manifests itself at the best view we had all week! The weather was awesome and so we tried a small pathway apart the normal way to see the full cliffs. Going there, we had to open some gates of fences and we wondered for what reason they were there. But then we realized that theses fences were to keep little ponies in there! We hadn’t seen them when we visited the cliffs but we had seen them before when we arrived with the ferry along the cliffs.The path we went was a bit unattached and not easy to contest but from there we had a much better view than from the way the others used.
After this awesome short visit at the cliffs we then drove to Deal, a small town at the seaside.There we had to chance to go to the beach. This beach was no sand but pebbles. Again we enjoyed the view along the seaside and we took a deep breath of the air at the sea which is different from the one in the city. A little bit salty and in some way fresher. The air smells pretty good at the seaside. After sitting and relaxing for a while we visited the pier. The pier was not a very special one. It was a little bit decrepit and sordid and the tea room which was touted as the best in town wasn’t really worth a visit.
One of the others recommended a very good fish and chips shop in the city and due to the fact that we are at the seaside we hoped to get a very fresh serving! Getting in the shop we weren’t so sure about that anymore. It looked very shabby and not clean at all. But we tried. And as the result: we shouldn’t have. The conclusion was that it was a meal wich was okay but not worth the price and the praise it got from the other student.
With a full belly we went back to the coach and we drove back to our accommodation were the evening took its course. All in all it was a really nice day, with many beautiful views and many interesting things to discover. Dover Castle is definitely worth a visit!