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Canterbury and The End

World Trip Two

Sunday, July 26 2009: Canterbury, England

Walking in Kent.

We decided to take the bus to Canterbury instead of the train. The train would have meant traveling across London from one station to another; a bit of an inconvenience with our bags. The bus, on the other hand, did require a change in London, but no travel across it.

Besides, the bus was very much cheaper than the train, and we had already experienced train travel on our trip to Oxford.

As it turned out, the bus journey was very pleasant and our short stopover in London gave me just enough time to beat Julia in Gin Rummy again.

When we arrived in Canterbury David escorted us down the main street from the bus station to his home. We were lavished with wine, food, and love from David and Mary. It felt like being home. That evening Charles drove all the way from London to see Julia and Mary. This was a long drive and made directly after a flight from Spain to London. We chatted for hours with Charles but were not able to solve the world's problems and so gave up satisfied with each other's company.

Monday, July 27 2009: Canterbury, England

Summer poppies in Kent.

A good friend of Mary and David (John) came over and had lunch with us.

Most of the time was spent laughing at each other's stories and enjoying the food and wine. It was good to see John again and he was looking really well.

Tuesday, July 28 2009: Canterbury - Deal - Richborough, England

Mary with her good friend John.

We met with Audrey for coffee this morning and said goodbye to her. We will not see here again on this trip and so our reunion ended sadly with everyone bidding each other goodbye. Audrey did agree to come and visit with us again in the States, so this gave us some consolation.

The beach at Deal.

After coffee, David drove us to Deal which is a little seaside town in Kent eight miles north-east of Dover. We saw the castle at Deal, the Time Ball Museum, and walked the pier. I found it rather a big deal to be in Deal. I got to eat cockles and whelks for the first time while there. They are a seafood delicacy in England; you have to be English to understand it I guess.

The very old and the very new.

Next we drove to the ruined Roman settlement of Richborough. This was the first place the Romans landed when they invaded or colonized Britain.

They first built a fort here in AD 43, after this it developed into a town, and then back into a larger fort. The first Roman road led out from Richborough and paved the way to the Roman occupation of Britain.

When we returned to Canterbury my brother John and Di had arrived at Mary and David's home as planned.

John and Di had been traveling through Europe and just came over from Ireland. We spent the rest of the day and evening, eating, drinking, and being merry.

Wednesday, July 29 2009: Faversham, England

We all enjoyed Sue's company at lunch, and her delicious food.

John, Di, Julia, and I took a short train ride to Faversham. Julia's school friend Sue had invited us all for lunch. Julia had not seen Sue in over 8 years and was so happy to be with her again.

We had an excellent lunch, Julia and Sue caught up, John, Di, and I met and got to know Sue, and we all had a wonderful time. After Sue shared some embarrassing photos of Julia we bid her goodbye and returned to Canterbury; not because of the photos but because time ran out. It was sure nice to meet Sue.

Thursday, July 30 2009: Down House, England

Down House as seen from the backyard.

David drove me to the home that Charles Darwin lived with his wife, raised his children, and where he wrote is now famous books. I really admire Charles Darwin, not only for his monumental contribution to humankind, but also for his successful personal life.

Darwin's hot house where many of his experiments on Natural Selection were conducted.

He raised many children at Down House and from all accounts he was a very gentle, humble, and considerate man. After reading his autobiography I was left with a yearning to have known him as his seemed such a favorable person. Down House was much larger than I had expected it to be and his gardens were much bigger and more beautiful than I could envision from his book. The audio visual displays at Down House are quite acceptable, but the real joy is in his personal artifacts and the rooms themselves.

I would like to leave you with a poem by Charles Darwin's grandfather Erasmus Darwin, from his book The Temple of Nature, 1802, which was written some 60 years before the publishing of "On the Origin of Species".

Organic life beneath the shoreless waves

Was born and nurs"d in ocean's pearly caves;

First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,

Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;

These, as successive generations bloom,

New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;

Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,

And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.

Thus the tall Oak, the giant of the wood

Which bears Britannia's thunder on the flood;

The whale, unmeasured monster of the main,

The lordly lion, monarch of the plain,

The eagle soaring in the realms of air,

Who's eye undazzled drinks the solar glare,

Imperious man, who rules the bestial crowed,

Of language, reason, and reflection proud.

With brow erect who scours this early sod,

And styles himself the image of his God;

Arose from rudiment of form and sense

An enbryon point, or microscopic ens!

Friday, July 31 2009: Canterbury - London, England

Three lovely people.

John and Di left us today and drove to Leeds where they will visit with friends, tour the midlands, and then spend three weeks in the Yorkshire Moors chilling out. Many hugs and kisses were exchanged before they drove off into the sunshine of the day.

Julia and I spent the rest of the day getting packed to leave and enjoying Mary and David's company for the last time and for some time to come. It is really sad to think of leaving them as they are such dear people. But, Julia and I are both very keen to return back to the good old US of A, our home, and our neglected friends there.

Thanks for following along with our journeys. Regards, Julia and David.

It has been an amazing four months. We have travelled to 11 countries including the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Spain, Andorra, France, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. We have flown some 27,607 miles on 16 flights. We have hiked 370 miles on scores of great hikes from the fiord lands of the south island of New Zealand to Australia's states of Victoria, Tasmania (Cradle Mountain), Queensland (Lizard Island), and New South Wales (The Blue Mountains), then in the Spanish Pyrenees, Andorra, and the south of France, Kent and Wales.

We have seen many, many birds including numerous types of raptor and many animals like kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian Devils, wallabies, deer, and uncountable numbers of cows, bulls, and sheep. We even cross-country skied for two miles in the Australian Snowy Mountains. In seven different rental cars we drove 6,001 miles through New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Andorra, France, and Portugal. We sailed for a total of 110 miles on ships in New Zealand and Australia. We travelled on trains in Australia and Britain some 180 miles; and we road 338 miles on buses in New Zealand and England. All these miles travelled total over 34,600 miles of moving around the earth's surface. This is 1/7 the distance to the moon or 9,740 miles further than the distance around the earth, which is a mere 24,860 miles. We will be very glad to sit still for awhile after all this; the question is just for how long.

Trip stats

Miles Flown: 27,607

Miles Hiked: 370

Miles Skied: 2

Miles Driven: 6,001

Miles Sailed: 110

Miles Trained: 180

Miles Bused: 338


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