Friday, September 07, 2007

Dover High Street

MB likes the simple system in the UK where the main shopping area is almost always on "The High Street", as far as she can gather every town (including the suburbs in London) has a High Street. Often when one is asking directions one will be told "it's on the High Street." More or less the centre of the universe.
Thursday 6 September MDR, GM & MB visited Dover which is a 90min drive down one of the motorways. Went in our trusty Chevy (really a rebadged Daewoo Matiz), hard for MDR to go over the speed limit, GM says the car's engine has only 3 cylinders.
MDR & GM were called the evening prior and asked to visit a prospect at the shipping terminal, so MB was plonked down in the High Street to fend for herself. Ambled around town and found the Roman Painted House, an excellent excavation with the interior plaster walls still displaying their frescoes. Only uncovered in the 1990's and one of the best surviving examples outside of Pompeii.
MB was keen to stretch her legs so hiked up a short but pretty steep trail to a disused fort called the Drop Redoubt on the Western side of town. Detoured via the local cemetery interred with many of the souls that perished in shipwrecks off the Dover coast. MB spied one other visitor in the cemetery, what looked to be an amateur photographer taking photos of tombstones, however when she walked past and greeted him, he excitedly pointed out (whispering) to MB a lizard sunning itself on a tomb. MB duly admired the tiny creature and forged on.
After grazing on wild blackberries en route MB emerged at the huge Drop Redoubt fortress and was rewarded with fantastic views, the whole town of Dover is stretched along a valley to the sea and across the eastern side is Dover Castle, a huge fortress which dominates the town. Walked around and down to a picnic area and at this point MDR called, MB was able to give MDR a street name which he typed into Darlene (satnav) and a few minutes later the Chevy chugged up the hill to meet her. Lovely weather so a perfect spot for a picnic lunch, luckily had made some roast beef and horseradish rolls in the morning, so that and a bottle of water did the team for lunch.
A trip to Dover would not be complete without a tour of Dover Castle, a huge complex on the Eastern side of Dover, overlooking the harbour. A major strategic stronghold through the ages. One could spend a whole day here and only scratch the surface. Lots of winding staircases and great views. The main castle (12th century) has massive walls up to 7m thick and the mortar in the walls is filled with what must be hundreds of thousands of flint chips which are as sharp as cut glass, a very ingenious way to prevent marauders climbing your walls.
A great day out and completely unplanned.

1 comment:

SB said...

Who is GM???