Last Sunday Sonia and I had the great opportunity, given by Anderson Tours, to take a day trip to Canterbury and Dover and explore the coast and Dover Castle. So, on Sunday we got up early in the morning and joined the small group of passengers at Baker Street and London Bridge (Anderson Tours offers various pick-up points throughout the city). Whilst driving around London we got lots of information from our tour guide, Stacey – an enthusiastic and charismatic young lady – regarding London and its great architecture and history.
It didn’t really take long until we arrived in Canterbury. Stacey directed us to Canterbury Cathedral, to which we had free access. The cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in the country and is being used regularly for local and national services. We decided to go into the Sunday morning service, which for me was the first time in my life. After listening to the choir’s divine singing and exploring the staggering cathedral we used our remaining time to walk along the streets and eat some Fish & Chips.
Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to see all the historic sites Stacey mentioned before, like the ruins of the Norman Castle and St. Augustine’s Abbey or the City Wall (on the way in we caught a glimpse from inside the bus though). This, and all the little shops I couldn’t go into, are two reasons for me to visit Canterbury again soon!
The next stop on our trip was the White Cliffs of Dover. There’s not much to say about the cliffs. Amazing views! Thanks to the clear sky we were able to see Calais. A little bit of walking. A little bit of smalltalk with the other passengers. Back to the bus. There’s a song called “There’ll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover” by Vera Lynn, which was written a year after British and German aircraft had been fighting over the cliffs of Dover in the Battle of Britain during World War II.
Following the World War II theme, our last stop was Dover Castle, where we went straight to the Secret Wartime Tunnels ‘Operation Dynamo’ exhibition. In a group of up to 30 people we were lead through different zones reenacting the evacuation of allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk. Original news-reels, recordings and the extensive use of audio-visual technology, creating giant images that run the entire length of the tunnel, immersed us in the actions of the operation.
Before we headed back to London, we had a few more minutes to explore the castle itself, which was quite impressive. All in all Sonia and I had a great day outside of London. Both Canterbury and Dover are just a stone’s throw away and good places to escape the city for a day!