Canterbury Second Visit
Monday, January 14, 2008
We had a very uneventful day of traveling back to England. We arrived at London
airport about 10:00pm local time and quickly made our way to the Marriot
It was over priced for what it was but it was close by
and we needed to sleep. The bad news was I turned on my computer and it was
acting like it had, had a major lobotomy! It booted but none of its higher
functions were operating. I was so tried I could not spend much time on it
so I went to bed knowing I had a very dysfunctional computer to fix.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
David S. drove all the way from Canterbury in a very
rainy storm to pick us up; thank you David for this. We drove for the best
part of two hours and the weather had fortunately cleared up a bit before we
arrived back in Canterbury. Julia and I were both glad to be back in
familiar surroundings and with family.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The Dover Castle.
We all got up and then went off for a 9 mile walk at the Dover Cliffs. What a
fantastic place and walk this was. The first thing we came across was the
Julia and me in the Pub.
The walk took us in a loop from the car park through
beautiful Kent fields and over the top of the white cliffs of Dover; you
know the ones of WW2 fame. In fact much of the famous Battle of Britain air
war was fought in the skies over this very place.
Half way through our walk we stopped at a pub to have lunch in a town called St.
Margaret at Cliffe. This is very typical of walking in England.
The intrepid hikers with the white cliffs behind them.
The Pub was a bit unusual in that it had a Spanish chief
and they severed tapas. We ate our yummy lunch and continued on our hike to
the Dover cliffs.
The final ascent.
From Julia: David S. and Mary will be our companions on
Offa's Dyke. The weather forecast for next week is very rainy and they seem
undeterred. David and I are a little worried but prepared to be adventurous,
especially as it was our bright idea to go in the first place!
Just to test our fitness we did a detour up a hillside. We made it and our
walking companions expect we are fit enough to keep up with them in Wales.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
We spent some time wondering around Canterbury shops
today. Then we went to Julia's Dad's place for dinner where we met Julia's
Aunt and Uncle Joy and Kenneth. We had a fine time and ate and drank heaps.
Friday, January 18, 2008
It was another slow day this day. Mary made a big lunch
of roasted lamb. We spent the day chatting and when Mary and David S. went
out for their choir practice Julia and I headed to the movies. We have not
been to the movies since we left in December so it was a nostalgic
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Julia and her Dad John in front of a church we stopped
at on our hike.
We headed over to Julia's Dad's home to go hiking with
John and Jean. The weather is no longer cold here as it had been on our first visit but it has
been raining and very cloudy. So the prediction was for rain this day but
John assured us it would not rain and he was right.
The grave yard of the church we visited.
The Kent countryside is very beautiful even in the
winter; but the difficulty in hiking in a place that has so much rain is the
mud. The mud on this hike was both sticking to our boots and making our footing
slippery at the same time.
While walking through farms and paddock, as one does when
hiking in Kent, we came across a "hunt". This is strange ritual where
English people, generally rich ones, mount horses, assemble dogs, and go
thundering around the countryside chasing foxes. Tallyho!
After completing our hike we returned to David and Mary's
home to get ready to attend the Canterbury Choral Society and London Handel
Orchestra's presentation of Mozart's Mass in C Minor; which David and Mary
where sing in. Yes both Mary and David were dressed in their back evening
wear and were assembled inside the Canterbury Cathedral to sing in the
chorus. What an amazing show it was too. David and Mary had given Julia and
I front row seats so we were almost sitting in the orchestra. The music was
superb, the solo singing was sublime, and the chorus was inspirational. I
really enjoyed it all and it was so very English.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
This day we attended a luncheon with some of Mary's
friends and then prepared ourselves for the six days of hiking on the Offa's
Dyke Path. On average we will be walking 12 miles a day. There are
approximately 700 stiles to cross on the walk. As most hiking in England is
on private farm land stiles are installed at each fence to enable you to
climb over the farmer's fence without damaging it. Unfortunately for us rain
is predicted for most of the time we will be hiking next week. Oh well, I
guess it is Wales in January. Tallyho!
Offa's Dyke Video