January 26, 2014

White Cliffs of Dover

On an early Saturday morning, my friends and I headed out for an adventure. We picked The White Cliffs of Dover for our spontaneous day. To begin our journey off right, we grabbed some super yummy food at this small sandwich shop before heading to the train station. Once at the station we looked for the earliest train to Dover, bought our tickets and hopped on the train.
My friends in a music zone. Looking like they are having a good time.
It was a bout an hour 15 min train ride. The fog was still heavy and the sun looked as if it was not going to come out and play. When we got to Dover the next step would be to locate the cliffs....easier said than done. We wandered up and around the small town without seeing any signs for the cliffs but plenty of signs for the Dover Castle. We located a "tourist information" sign, which ended up just being a sign that had a map of the town on it. There they were, the White Cliffs. And off we went!
Walking. Walking. Stopping to peel off layers of clothing. Walking. Stopping to take pictures. Walking. Stopping to take more pictures. Stopping and layering back up. Walking. Walking. Walking....
I think you get the idea.
We had to ask a person at the ticket booth at the Dover Castle if we were heading in the right direction for the cliffs, she told us how to get there. Pheww we were heading in the right direction. As we were walking the directions had us turn down this road with no footpath which was pretty scary considering the cars were whizzing past us. There was a man a fair distance in front of us wearing a very english hat and a long peacoat. After a while of us repeatedly saying to each other "I think this is right...." the nicely dressed man turned around and asks us "Are you looking for the White Cliffs?" shocked and slightly surprised we responded with a "Yes! Are we going the right way?!" he laughed and replied with a "Yes! Keep on this road for a while." Hallelujah! We ended up catching up with him and he walked with us the entire way to the cliffs. He told us the history of the Dover Castle, how old it was, the people who still live in it, etc. He proceeded to ask us where we were from in the states and that his wife was from Philadelphia. He met her when she studied abroad in London....THERE IS HOPE FOR ME AFTERALL!! He is a literature professor and his wife is an english professor. After a while we asked him if more people drive to the cliffs than walk to which he responded with a chuckle and said yes. He also told us he makes this walk every Saturday to have lunch a particular pub and then heads back home. Once we made our way around the corner he pointed to the direction we needed to walk and wished us well. It was so awesome to have that personal experience added to the trip!
Can you spot the castle?
We walked down into this field, and by this point the fog was starting to lift. The castle became completely visible. The ocean was this beautiful blueish green and the hillside embossed in different shades of green. We wandered thru tiny pathways, turned the corner at the exact moment the sun came out and BAM! The White Cliffs of Dover were just, there. So pretty. We freaked out a tiny bit at their beauty. 
We were trying to make it over to the cliffs because it looked easy and other people had done it, we began walking over there....easy right?? Ha! Wrong! There was SO MUCH MUD and sludge and water on the pathways. It was like a challenge in itself just walking standing straight up. After about an hour of us trying to make it over there, my friend falling and slipping not once but twice in the mud, me straddling the hillside in an attempt to keep my shoes from being incased in mud, and a lot of laughter we took a realization that getting over to the cliffs was not going to happen unless we planned on falling and flying off the other cliffs.

Fall #1
Fall #2
......time lapse...
We turned around to look back at the cliffs and they were gone! The fog had rolled in and in less than 10 seconds we couldn't see more than 20 feet in from of us. We were completely alone. At least that's how it felt. Also, FREEZING! The wind kicked up quite aggressively, the temperature dropped extremely quickly and my straight hair turned into a fro.
We began the walk back to the tourist center to wait out the fog. We made it back, I ordered a cup of tea and sat there with my friends. Everyone else in the center looked clean, dry and normal. We looked..well like we had been outside. 
The fog never lifted.  
We headed back to the train station. But we had so much fun! And we even found a short cut through this wooded area that puts you right next to the castle and also cut our hike back in half. So awesome!
We meandered through the town on the way back to the station and took more photos.
 Once on the train we put our headphones in and watched as the green hillsides, sheep, and the ocean slipped past us. 
It was a fabulous day. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great adventure story-and it's all true. Love your amazing white cliffs and old stone church and wall shots! Lol at the slipping and falling in the mud moments.