Saturday, May 28, 2011

divin' into dover.

Have fun storming the castle!
-Princess Bride

Today we got to be princess in a medieval castle. we got to let the wind whip through our hair and make us feel like we could jump and fly away. we got to explore deep tunnels, and old abandon ruins. we got to travel back in time. today we went to dover.

it was a wonderful morning of very low stress. the five of us: me, elly, cali, cami, and ashlee, were the only ones going so we felt no rush to be ready by a certain time. we left when we were ready, and headed to the train station. and then off to dover. we had a little bit of a wait before the train so people explored cuff links and i read about adele. i love her newish song "someone like you" and it was interesting to read about what went on behind the song. then it was on the train for the hour plus ride to dover priory. does anyone know what a priory is? the country side was beautiful! unfortunately i didnt see too much of it because i was out like a light.

some of the interesting dressed people one sees in london. also the tube and train station were crazy because of the huge futbol match vs barcelona today.
the lot of us sleeping on the train.
 after having our train car attached to another train, and going through some very long tunnels, we made it to the last stop. dover. we got of the train. walked out of the station. and all stopped. "which way?" none of us had taken the time to figure out where exactly we were going or how to get there. luckily the castle is high on a hill, so we knew we wanted to get there. but for a second we all were very confused as to where to walk. lucky for us england likes to help its tourists out and post signs so we were able to find the castle.
which way? ahhh crud.
this picture is for my dad. on the way we passed a BP, it was one of the first gas stations i have noticed in england. go BP. and look, dover castle in the background. ps i would support you dad if you decided to transfer to london, and would visit you all the time, also mom- make sure dad looks at this one :)
after much up hill walking (our work out for the day) we made it to the castle! it was grand. everywhere you looked there was something new and beautiful. i constantly had my camera out taking pictures, it reminded me of Rome. we first we the the naval look out. They had used the castle during World War II. how cool is that. while walking to the castle it was windy. when we got up there it was like a freakin' tornado! but we got to see the white cliffs of dover which were amazing. and look of the english channel. one day- i will swim that. actually probably not, but that would definitely be amazing to say you had done.

look at those white cliffs. and they arent even painted that way.
getting blown away in the wind. i swore if i jumped high enough i would get blown away. unfortunately it didnt quite work, but it was pretty darn close.
we then headed up to explore more of the castle grounds. next stop was the army barracks. seen below. however, they were closed for renovation, but we explored the grounds on the way to the great hall, and i learned that i am a 13 year old boy. big guns and cannons excite me. a lot. i thought they were the coolest things ever. dont worry, im still a girl for multiple reasons, but especially because i was in love with all the flowers. 
the army barracks.

yay cannons! they were the coolest things ever. i want one for christmas.
but the pretty flowers growing atop the old walls, and everywhere were my favorite.
it was fun to walk along the "hedge" for lack of a better way of saying it- that over looked the channel, and the surrounding land. there were lots of little of little cubby holes where they would put the gun powder which were fun to explore. it was great to just have this whole castle to run around and explore!

exploring one of the cubby holes
on the hedge.
while exploring we saw a battle reenactment. 
we found this one little tunnel and decided to see where it went- and it went to one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen. it looked out over the valley, and the water, and was absolutely gorgeous. we might have broken the rules and done a little climbing for picture purposes, but it was well worth it. it is amazing to think of how old the buildings were. from what we read it looks like they were from the 12th century, and that they are still standing. elly's favorite part was the fact that all the stones were different shapes and sizes, rather the the very neat and tidy bricks we use now. each building was like a magnificent puzzle.

flynn rider: i could get used to a view like this. yep, used to it, guys i want a castle.

after much exploration above ground, we made out way underground to the tunnels. they were amazing, and confusing. we hit a lot of dead ends, or doors that had been boarded up, and despite it being a little creepy at times- so cool. we found a new meaning for the word flash light as we used the red light your camera makes before you take a picture with flash to find our way around, or see down dark tunnels. cami and i found a tunnel that was three feet above the ground that we wanted to climb in and explore, but realized it might not be the smartest, and just looked like another dead end. after weaving and wandering we made our way up the way we came out.

 then it was off to the great hall. or the actual castle. so fun. they had the castle set up like an actual castle. with a kitchen, bedrooms, a throne room, churches, an armory, and much much more.

we were the three witches from Macbeth in the kitchen.. 
we found a medieval whirl pool... 
and met the king. the king and i had a nice conversation about where he was from. he came from Normandy, and we were actually speaking fluent french the whole time. it was a grand ole time.
while exploring the castle there were actors, such as the king, and we recognized one of them from the tower of london skit. she was the one who poisoned the man. i talked with her for a bit, and it turns out they are a touring company who goes to tower of london, dover, and hampstead court. later as we passed her and "her husband" he pointed to us and said "arent those your ladies in waiting". it was perfect, and perfect for being inside a castle.

the castle was impeccable. the stairs were so fun as they would be spiraling up but then there would be a set that split off and took you to another floor. the design was so intense and confusing. i couldnt help but think of them trying to make the castle.

One of my favorite parts of the castle though, was the roof access! You could go up to the very very tippy top. which of course meant another tornado. but a very very beautiful tornado, which let you look out over the whole city of dover. however when you stuck your head through the little holes you couldnt breathe because of the wind. it was ridiculous!

while sitting up there elly started singing "in a minute, in a while" and i finished with "i will do it with a smile" we then went on to freak out at the fact that the other one knew the procrastination song from Brite Music. It was a grand bonding moment. then in talking about Safety Kids, Ashlee chimed in with "I know my number, my telephone number" it was perfect. and the most wonderful thing of my life. I love reliving my childhood with other people. i feel like im "out of the loop" often times when people talk about old cartoons, because we didnt watch much tv, and the shows i did watch i dont remember much of... however, Barney. i loved you dearly. so it was fun to find someone to connect with.

 after exploring the great hall, we went on to explore the rest of the grounds. we went to arthur hall, which had cartoons playing telling the history of the norman conquest, and talked about refurbishing the castle. and then went to the Princess of Wales regiment museum, which was interesting. after that we started making our way down towards the "dressing station" where we had a tour of the underground hospital used in WWII.

by this point we were all freezing and tired. but we didnt want to miss out on something that would be way cool. our tour wasnt for another 30 minutes, and we had seen the rest of the castle. we had heard the it was an hour long, and started seriously contemplating not doing it when elly went and asked some questions. it turned out there was a tour leaving in 5 minutes we could go on, and it was only 20 minutes. so we were in. the tour was interesting, and showed what it would have been like to be there during an air raid. there are times i wish i could magically transport back to the time to really get a feel of what it would have been like to be there when it was working, rather than walking around and seeing how they have set it up to look like it did. anyone know of a good time machine i could use?

after the tour we headed down towards the channel to see the beach and the cliffs once more. but not without passing some beautiful things along the way. there was this adorable street that had the most picturesque light post (see below) so we all had to take pictures. i realized i have absolutely no upper body strength as i tried to lift myself up and failed miserably, and then there was this pretty old garden type thing. it was abandoned but had some amazing old architecture and wild flowers. also along the way we passed a door where there were a collection of stickers from the castle. we obviously had to add ours to the lots.

the picturesque road. and pretty wild flowers. these floweres were everywhere and were absolutely beautiful.

 the door where all the stickers were. it was so bright and colorful. i absolutely loved it.

 we eventually made it to the water, and ashlee and i just had a wonderful time chatting up on the boardwalk looking over the water, feeling no need to go down to the actual water. as it was rocky and cold. but after getting lovingly chastised we made our way down to touch the english channel.

it was an adventure trying to get a picture with the water because it would come high and you would have to try to out run the water while on the little pebbles. there was a lot of laughter.

we then made our way back to the train station looking for a place to eat. however, the town was dead. we were looking into going to a pub to get some fish n' chips when some guys yelled. come on girls, come have a beer. that made out decision easy, and we walked away. cami heard them say something along the lines of "i dont think they spoke english" as we walked away. we had no luck, and ended up grabbing some mcdonalds (i was craving fries like none other) before getting back to the train station.

we did pass an ellie's cafe! unfortunately is was closed.
 the train ride home was much like the train ride out with lots of sleeping beauties, but seemed to take forever. i would fall asleep and wake up every ten minutes thinking i had been asleep for hours. but we eventually made it home!

 before coming back to the flat we stopped by sainsbury's to get some corners (these delicious yogurt things with mix-ins in the corner. amazing!) and when at sainsbury- we ended coming away with lots more than just the planned corners...all under the delicious category. we came back and watched 10 things i hate about you on elly's bed while sharing a mini strawberry cheesecake. elly then, being the doll she is, cut my hair. cheepest hair cut ever. it just cost me a gallon of ice cream. she did a wonderful job! i basically just said go, and she went. she mainly just added layers which will "help my curl" and trimmed the ends. we ended up watching part of stick it while doing this. so much for the "not watching movies or tv" goal. but i figure its okay if it is involved in bonding moments.

she has mad skills. she did this all will right handed scissors for her left handed cutting, and with a wide toothed comb. she is the bestest.
it was a great and tiring day, and one that made me want to be a princess with a castle. anyone know of any castles for sale?

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh what a great dover post! i love that you guys quoted the princess bride the whole time. that was all we did as well.