Travels with Victoria: Arriving in Dover

Sunrise over the English Channel on June 3, 2011.  I didn’t notice any bluebirds, but I definitely could not miss the white cliffs! And Dover Castle at the top.

Here’s a closer view of the Castle — which has been in use for more than 900 years, from the time of  Henry II to the present day. And pre-Roman earthworks have been found, making the use of the channel bluff for defense more than 2,000 years old – or more. It has been a continuing process of adaptation and rebuilding, and it’s not over yet.

Currently tourists are invited to tour the World War II secret tunnels, including protected command centers deep under the surface.  Below, reversing the perspective, from the castle to the harbour.

Dover, beyond the castle, is a busy port with ferries arriving and departing almost every hour of the day. From Dover to Calais (and vice versa) is still a popular route, even since the opening of the chunnel and the Eurostar rail service to Paris and Brussels. Along the harbour, the promenade is often full of strollers , sailors, sun bathers and tourists.
Our hotel was across the street from this promenade, and had a lovely outdoor cafe perfect for watching the passing scene.
If you watched the recent repeat of the Poirot episode entitled The Clocks (2009), you would have a very good view of Dover Castle and the promenade, but the residential street in the film was actually in London.

Above, scenes  from The Clocks, by Agatha Christie

We also walked around the town (found an excellent pub, not to our surprise) and toured the Roman Painted House, excavated in the center of Dover, with continuing explorations going on today. It boasts the finest painted frescoes in Britain from the Roman period. Below, an overview of the site, and below that, one of the frescoes.
From Dover, we visited the charming town of Sandwich and nearby Walmer Castle, at which the Duke of Wellington died in 1852. Next in the series…

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