Sunday, May 25


"I felt a sprint in my feet that said GO, and I went"
I have been craving the ocean you know, and though it was not as soon as I anticipated, I finally made it! I woke up bright and early Saturday morning to the sun shining through my window (which is rare...) and thought to myself, "I think I'll go to Dover today." And off I went. 19 pounds and an hour and a half later I arrived at the Dover Priory station, headed off to find the tourist information center on foot. They told me everything I needed to do and see, and even were so bold as to suggest that I would need three hours in the castle--to which I silently snorted and rolled my eyes. Don't get me wrong, I do like castles, but I find I get bored of them rather quickly. I like to get in, learn some stuff, take some pictures, and get out before my head starts screaming at me to do something more watch grass grow. From sea level, I looked at the castle on the hill and started my ascent. It was long, it was steep, and I was panting and gasping when I finally reached the ticket booth, but it was worth it.

I was exceptionally lucky this weekend, because the castle was having it's National Heritage Festival, which, roughly translated, means there are a bunch of people running around in costumes. They had several different periods represented in the castle, and the first one (and my favourite) was World War I.

They had this life size model airplane that they use to film in movies there, and these chaps did a little play/reenactment of what it would have been like on a reconnaissance mission. They said that most of the pilots had fewer than 20 hours actual flying time, and they were going up against seasoned enemy planes. Most of them didn't last more than 2 weeks airborne, which is really sad to think about. But the skit was entertaining and the acting was good. I even asked for my picture with them afterwards!

They had tents set up just how they would have had them there in war time. I loved all the little trinkets and things from the period that they had! It felt like I stepped back in time.

This was the best. They had a WWI "Trench Experience" where you went inside a reenactment of the trenches. I caught a little bit of video from it because I liked it so much. It actually did feel like I was there, and men were shouting, dirt was flying, and guns were going off. They did a demonstration on how they could pinpoint a sniper by using a dummy head to stick up, get the sniper to shoot it, and then use the bullet hole to find where he was hiding. I really enjoyed it!

This video is of the Trenches

Walking further along up into the castle, I came across people from the Medieval period. I stopped and talked to this lady for a bit who said that coming and doing things like this is a hobby of hers and she really just loves living 13th century life! I think that is just so cool, because if you are doing it you get to really experience it how people would have from that time. You eat the food they did, sleep how they did, dress how they did, yadda yadda you get the picture.

I also watched a battle reenactment that was incredibly cheesy...but surprisingly entertaining!

Moving on to Tudor times, I actually got to meet King Henry VIII! Well you know, not really, but the guy doing the portrayal was incredible. I actually felt like I was in the presence of the king. I even saw him on several occasions walking around talking to people (or criticizing them) and just mingling as I would expect maybe Henry would in public. It was great!

This is an backgammon board that was inside the castle lounge area that I liked the look of, so I snapped it.

These guys were playing instruments from the period outside, and they were actually really good!

WWII was alright, they had some interesting stuff, but not quite as good as the first world war's. I did get talking with these two people though who were quite knowledgeable about everything to do with the war (naturally) and I learned a lot through them.

They had a table set up of all these old things that were found during war time. The trumpet mouth piece was my favourite, made me think of Dad and Stick!

This dog is Jack's WWII ansestor I think.
Do you see a resemblance?
Maybe it has just been too long since I have seen my puppy!

I also visited the Secret Wartime Tunnels, which are dug right into the under the castle. There is a hospital down there too which was really cool. Almost everything is just how it would have been at the time of WWII. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to take any pictures down there, which is why you see no pictures to follow. I know that's disappointing...sorry!

Here is a man from the Roman Era!

I looked at my watch when I left the castle and immediately felt ashamed that I had ever doubted the ever-so-knowledgeable brunette at the tourist information counter when she said I needed 3 hours at the castle, because I spent nearly 5 hours there!! Yes folks, it was that good.
I made my way down the hill from the castle to the ocean side, where the same woman told me to go once I had seen my fill up there. This was done with the intent to get a good look at the cliffs. I had a nice little stroll along the beach for a little while before I realized that the only way I was going to get a picture of the cliffs, was if I hiked to the top. At this time I had already hiked roughly the same distance up to the castle and been on my feet for the past like 6 hours, and I was muttering something like "there is no way in #$%%^@#$%#$%$ I am climbing all the way up there!" under my breath. But then again, I didn't pay 20 pounds to get here so I could not see the white cliffs of Dover. So I put on my brave face and started climbing.

Once I got to the top, I collapsed in the long grass along the edge of the cliffs, took my shoes off, and closed my eyes for a little nap...everyone was doing it.

After the rejuvenation of my nap, I was able to hike some more to get to these stunning views!

I scaled down this steep little hill

So it turned out to be a very nice day, and as the song goes, there was "blue skies over, the white cliffs of Dover" for my visit, so I was pleased! Now today my whole lower body is sore from all the hiking and and hills I did, but it was all worth it. That's another tick off the list, and thank you Aunt Loyann for the suggestion! If it wasn't for you, I probably would have never gone. And I must admit the whole time I was there I kept saying to myself, "this is one of the best days ever!"

I finished off the day with an ice cream on the beach. It was the perfect ending to a pretty darn perfect day.



Marie said...

Fabulous entry Nicole! I feel as if I were right there with you! I can see that the trip was worth every penny of your nineteen quid or maybe it's just that you are the type of person that gets your quid's worth out of every experience. I expect it's a bit of both! I must go to Dover now to do more than hop on a ferry to France! You have spurred my interest! Thanks!

Lacey said...

I have just stumble upon your blog. You take some amazing pictures. My husband and I are taking a vacation to Scotland this summer and can't wait! I will definitly be checking back in to see what's happening next.

Ali Ali Ali said...

wow.. what a wonderful blog! I really felt like i was just hanging with you all day! what wonderful pictures you take and what a wonderful time you must have had! Loved reading it give us more!

KDawg said...

I love your feet in the grass at the top of the mountain taking a rest! I can't wait til you come back to the US of A so I can take you on photoshoots and make movies again gosh dangit! haha member that video we were gonna make, and we filmed down that alley by kohls in the rain to get good effects? Ha, we should have really turned that into something. When do you come home? I have an agenda already planned of things for you to do, because lets face it, there are some things money can't buy, and thats Nicoliolieo

*TAMI* said...

Once again, what a fun experience!!! The cliffs are beautiful, but I didn't have to hike to see them, we just saw them from the ferry. I think I prefer that route!! The castle sounds amazing. I love real life enactments, it really makes you think about what life would have been like during that period!!!

Maria said...

Nice blog, saw you in an entry from Oak cottage blog...the photos, the captions and stories are all great. I"m inclined to return now and then for a visit! Take care. Maria from Seattle.

skousenmom said...

Wow! I haven't had a chance to catch up on your blog until now. Wish we had had time to go to Dover now too! Just too much to see. Glad you got to go and you do such a great job of sharing it really feels like we all went along for the ride. Anyone else think she should write a book or become a film maker? I do! I am her mom though, so I think everything she does is wonderful! Loved the blog entry honey. Can't wait to see more pictures. Love you and miss you! Mom