After Denmark we returned to England. On the way to land at
Heathrow we got a nice view of the city center, including
the London Eye / Houses of Parliament and the Isle of Dogs
with Canary Warf.
We waited a very long time to get our rental car but soon
we were on the way - only to discover that everyone seems
to drive on the wrong side of the road! On the way to visit
our daughter Caite in the eastern part of England we stopped
in a little town for fish and chips. As is usual the shop
didn't have any seating but the proprietors invited us to
sit in the back of the house where they keep a small garden,
it was a wonderful place to eat lunch.
This is the "Salvation Army House" in the little seaside town
of Margate where Caite lives while going to high school in
The teenager did a good job of pretending that she was
happy to see her parents. She may yet have a career as
The rest of the evening was spent in the back yard eating
pizza and catching up on all the news with the residents.
Our hotel was right on the beach, we didn't realize just
how much of a tourist destination this area really was.
Caite attends Thanet College, which is situated on a
beautiful campus just blocks from the beach.
Next day we went down to the beach with Caite and her
friend from Prague, Jess.
We stopped for lunch at the Dickens Pub, right next to
the house where Charles Dickens wrote some of his novels.
It's hard to believe but some members of the expedition
still had room for huge amounts of ice cream after lunch.
We had to take care of bunch of paperwork as the UK
immigration authorities took surprisingly keen interest
in an American teenager coming to England to study. A
short visit to the immigration office at Heathrow
Airport cleared things up in no time at all, though.
On the way to the airport we stopped in the town of
Bean, and discovered the wonders of Sticky Toffee and
Spotted Dick. Yum!
A short stop by the seaside on the island of Sheppey; the
girls spent several hours looking for, well, rocks.
By the time we returned to Margate those who indulged
Spotted Dick earlier were no longer with us.
Noticing that there was a Thai restaurant in town we
couldn't resist - and the food turned out to be quite
This is where Caite's new mum and dad work.
The next day we drove south along the coast and stopped in
the town of Sandwich for lunch. Can you guess what we
Continuing further, we stopped for beer in the town of Deal
(we did look on the map for the town of Cash, but sadly it
wasn't on our route).
The highlight of our trip was the town of Dover - on a cliff
above there is an ancient fortress which we spent the better
part of the day visiting.
A nice bonus was the tour of the secret WWII tunnels, which
have only recently been declassified. The tunnels were
originally dug in Napoleonic times and were used during the
world war to coordinate the extraction of British forces
Large areas of the tunnels have been restored to look like
they did during the war.
In case anyone was confused about which way the Nazi
hordes were, one of us pointed the way.
It took a while walking around downtown Dover but in the
end we found an Indian restaurant and the food was absolutely
Time to return the rental car - amazingly the only damage we
did to it in almost a week of driving on the wrong side of
the road was scraping the hub caps. It could have been worse!
Before our next flight we visited the British Museum which is
a truly wonderful place - it's well designed, all the exhibits
are well marked, and admittance is free so one is free to come
back many times. And the Rosetta Stone never fails to amaze.
England is a land of pubs so a good beer selection is never
too far away but for some reason most of the beer served in
England seems way too warm. Soon we'll be in the Czech
Republic, though, and those problems will be quickly