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2010 TRIP TO ENGLAND, by Colin L. Miller

Intro June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 June 14 June 15 June 16 June 17 June 18 June 19 June 20 June 21 June 22 June 23 June 24 June 25 June 26 Expense Report

FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010: LONDON / DOVER / CANTERBURY

For my last full day, I got up at 6:50 am and had a quick breakfast from my supplies. My plan was to visit Dover and Canterbury. An hour later I left and went to Queensway Station for a ride to St. Pancras Rail Station.

At 8:25 I had my rail ticket from a self-service kiosk, 33.30 on my credit card. I checked the status boards. My train to Dover Priory (DVP) would leave at Platform 12. I made my way through the huge train station, up an escalator to the upper level and over to the high-speed rail tracks. It was a clean and modern place with lots of steel, glass, and marble. I had to wait several minutes at the entrance to Platforms 11-13 because the turnstile wouldn't let me in as it was not yet "off-peak". As I waited, my train was updated to depart from #13. Finally, with a small group of other travelers, I got on the high speed train. There was plenty of open seats. I got a window and waited for departure.

DOVER

I was off the train at 10:22 am. The ride was indeed high speed, with a few stops along the way. With my digital video camera, I recorded a few minutes of scenery speeding by out the window. After getting a photo of the rail platform and sign, I started my walk to the castle. The port had two cruise ships docked. Above the white cliffs was the castle. Following my map, I made it through the city center and up a steep wooded hill to the outdoor castle ticket booth. I got my ticket and a souvenir guidebook for 17.89. Then I continued on into the castle grounds.

The castle was a sprawling complex of ancient and newer buildings, including a Roman lighthouse and the Norman castle. The sky was hazy and clear, and it was getting hot and humid. There were many international visitors, including groups of French students.

Around 12:45 pm I realized that I'd better get moving, and so I made my way back down the hill and further over towards the ferry terminal and white cliffs trails. For a while, a fog bank rolled in obscuring the cruise ships. At the ferry port, I took digital video and stills of the cargo ferrys unloading, docking, or cruising out. In the distance, incoming ferries came out of the fog & haze. I couldn't stop for long as the day was progressing and I still had my visit to Canterbury to do. I was very hot and sweaty as I made my way back down to the city and over to the train station. At the ticket window I got a split-return back to London Victoria with a stop at Canterbury for 18.50.


The high speed rail platforms at London, DVP Station, the White Cliffs, and Dover Ferry terminal

CANTERBURY

At 2:43 pm I was on the train. Seventeen minutes later I was off at Canterbury East Station (CBE). I followed the walkway over the A28 motorway and onto the city walls. After a detour up to the top of Dane John Mount, I went as far as Parade Street, then up past St. George's Clock Tower and through the crowded streets to Canterbury Cathedral.

Admission was 8. There weren't any special tours going on, so I wandered around. Like all the other cathedrals, it was impressive in its interior size, stained glass windows, high ceilings, statues, architectural features, memorials, effigies, chapels, and its own unique history. There was some discouragement to taking photos in some parts, but I got most of my pics inside and out before heading back out. After a stop at the gift shop (5.60) for post cards and the guide book, I grabbed a late lunch at a nearby Subway for a 12" sub, 'crisps' and a large drink (6.26).

Fed and rested, I got my tired legs moving back to CBE. I returned to Platform 1 for the next train to Victoria Station at 4:52 pm. Ten minutes later I was on the train. However, there were no less than twelve stops to the destination. At 6:38 pm I was finally off the non-high speed train.


Scenes from Canterbury Cathedral

Seven minutes after arrival, I was on the Underground train, Victoria Line north from platform 3. At Oxford Circus, I transferred to Central Line west, getting off at Lancaster Gate at 7:02 pm, which was the station I used last year when I was staying at a nearby hotel. In thirteen minutes I was back at my hotel room to rest, get cleaned up, pack my luggage, sort digital photos, and watch videos. Tomorrow was the big return home.


Intro June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 June 14 June 15 June 16 June 17 June 18 June 19 June 20 June 21 June 22 June 23 June 24 June 25 June 26 Expense Report