Monday, October 23, 2017

Dover Castle

We found our hotel easily once we got to Dover. It is right across the road from the English Channel, near the ferry port. We can watch the ferries coming in, going out, loading and unloading constantly. It is quite fascinating. We are at the bottom of the famous white cliffs, one of which is shown below.


At the top of the cliff is the famous Dover Castle. It was founded in the 11th century after the Battle of Hastings and built up by King Henry II in the 13th century. It is quite enormous and was used during both WW I and WW II for several purposes.

This is a view of the castle from afar. You can't miss it!


Once we got parked we got our tickets and went to the underground tunnels. We had a guided tour through the area that was used as a hospital during WW II. It was quite dimly lit and certainly claustrophobic; the doctors and nurses who worked there were definitely heroes. It was mainly used as a triage and emergency centre; patients were moved on as quickly as possible -- the wards only held 12 patients. Below are the stairs that were the way out (our guide offered the lift and several others accepted along with me).


An observation station/small tower is perched right on the edge of the cliff. It was used for communications during both wars. Outside stands one of the three-inch guns from WW I.


This view of the ferry port was taken from the observation station. There are three terminals with ferries coming and going. Later in the day the entire lot was covered with lorries (trucks) waiting to load.


Looking the other way, you can see some of the small town of Dover. There is an enormous apartment block right on the Marine Drive. Just beyond the photo is the cruise ship port (none here at this time). We walked down into this area for dinner both evenings.


Next we climbed the hill to King Henry's tower, the main fort. The rooms are restored to what they were like in the medieval period. This is a bedchamber. There were some re-enactors performing but we didn't see much. It is a school holiday and there were loads of kids everywhere.


The king had his private chapel for worship.


The first night when we walked toward town for dinner, we tried the first restaurant we came to (Table Table), but there was a two-hour wait. We went on and found an Indian restaurant closer to town. Tonight we went back and easily got a table. This is Dan's steak pie with mash and green beans. 


Due to a couple of unplanned changes to our itinerary, we ended up with three nights here instead of the expected two. So tomorrow we are taking the ferry to Calais and will have a day out in France!


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