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Canterbury Second Visit

Visiting Relatives

Monday, January 14, 2008

Goodbye Egypt.

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 Airport Hotel.

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 Dover Castle.

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 experience.

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!

The hunt.

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

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