Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blue Birds Over the Cliffs of Dover

Sorry for the week long delay in the posting effort- we went to St. Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday and I thought for sure I would be able to post about that but you are not allowed to take pictures inside the cathedral so you will just have to take my word for it when I say it is beautiful and that the Whispering Gallery really does work- you really can whisper from any one point in the dome and hear it at any other spot, it is really cool! One more thing before I tell about this week's trip and that is that I want to make a little bit of a birthday shout out to Grandma Lucy!!! Happy Birthday Grandma, I wanted to call you on skype yesterday but you were never online when I was online so I will try again soon! I love you!!
This Wednesday's trip was to Dover and Canterbury. For those of you around during the second world war or interested in the music of that era might recognize my title as a line from a popular war-time song that I heard for the first time yesterday. Dover is located on the southeast coast of England and is a beautiful town! It is positioned right on the channel so yesterday as I stood for this picture, I could practically see France- pretty cool! This picture was taken right outside of the war time tunnels just prior to our tour of the tunnels. There was no photography allowed in the tunnels or I would for sure have some pictures to share because I thought they were amazing! The tunnels here were used during WWII as a command center. When I say tunnels you need to think bigger than what you are thinking- I promise. This was more like an underground community with lodging and a cafeteria and many different control centers and even a hospital- it was amazing. I liked to try to imagine what the tunnels would have been like during the war when they were hustling and bustling with all kinds of activity. When we were walking through the hospital and the lights kept flickering, I tried to imagine operating on an injured soldier in the dark, probably not the easiest kind of operation. I really enjoyed the tunnels and learning more about WWII history!
This is as good as it gets of the tunnels... sorry!
After the tunnels we explored around Dover Castle which has been very well preserved. There is a large portion of the castle still standing, unlike Portchester last week. Unfortunately, a lot of the castle was not open for us to walk around in but it was still fun to see! I would have been content just to see the views that being up so high on the hill there afforded us- it was BEAUTIFUL!!! See for yourself :)
So after the tunnels and the castle and the cliffs we hopped back on the coach and headed to Canterbury. While in Canterbury we saw the remains of St. Augustine's Abbey which was as cool as a whole lot of rocks protruding from the ground can be... we did find some fun activities like jumping some gaps between rocks and pretending to be Zelda... it was great! After the remains of the Abbey we went to Canterbury Cathedral which is beautiful and it is the martyrdom site of St. Thomas Beckett. It was cool to see that memorial and to learn more about the story. Pretty much the King instituted Thomas Beckett as the Arch Bishop of Canterbury (one of the most powerful positions in the church) because he and the King had been pals for a long time and the King figured that Beckett would have no problem backing him in every decision he made. Either the power, or the gospel (we'll say the gospel because I have faith in Beckett) went to Beckett's head and he no longer wanted to do whatever the King said, he wanted to do what the church said. For this reason, the King wanted to be "rid himself of this meddlesome Priest" and on that command men came to Canterbury, right into the Cathedral where Beckett was praying and they killed him. Just an interesting tid bit... for your information! So after the cathedral we were given some time to wander around Canterbury and then we headed home. Just like every other Wednesday, this was a great day! It was incredible to see all of these places and think of what went into making them and how they might have functioned in their prime- it was pretty awesome! In case you were wondering, Janna and I did bus fun today and it went great!Playing Zelda at St. Augustine'sOutside Canterbury CathedralSaw this in Canterbury and thought of you brother! Love you!


  1. Hey Mary!
    This definitely made me think of senior year english class and reading the Canterbury Tales. I'm sure it was somewhat interesting to see the church where Thomas Beckett was murdered. I would have liked that. Hope to hear from you again soon!!!
    Love you, Peter

  2. Annie and I are just a bit jeoulous thinking you get to do fun stuff everyday, but then she cannot complain as she is looking forward to jumping on a ship and eating everything in site for 5 days while sunning and swimming while I enjoy the kids and the slush around greater portland. Enjoy I say for now!