Monday, 27 September 2010

UK Day 29 - Rye

The weather today was not very good. It was overcast and really cold most of the day, and to make it even worse, it started drizzling at about 4pm and didn’t stop. I got the 9:45am train to Rye for 13.80 GBP (day return) because it was a lot faster than getting buses (and they also came a lot more often i.e. hourly).

Rye was just beautiful! There are still lots of cobblestone streets and the buildings in the old town have been preserved and really well-maintained (for the most part). There was quite a large area to explore (bigger than I expected, fortunately). Rye was once a smuggling and pirate town, from where it most likely got its wealth. It was also an antient town to the “cinque-ports” (of which Dover is one). These ports were the defence against the continent, being where the crossing is the narrowest. There’s some info at the wikipedia, if you’re interested.

I just headed into town to start exploring:

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Of course, no town is complete without its castle. This one is called Ypres Tower, and has a view over the marshes and river in one direction and the pub in another:


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After wandering around town for a while, I sat down at the Swan Cottage Tea Rooms to have a cuppa (Lapsang Souchong – yumm!) and a piece of cake (it was nearly all marzipan, which is why I wanted it). I was the only customer! It was only 11:50am, which might explain it, I suppose. And the weather was miserable, so the town wasn’t very full yet.


After my cuppa, I wandered around some more and doubled back to the church so I could have a look inside it (the first time there, a service was in progress). I discovered some more streets to photograph as well.



The old storehouses have been turned into the Heritage Centre, restaurants and pubs, and mainly antique shops:



More wandering around:

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When I went back to the church, I saw this – pussycat on the left, inside the church, watching the pigeon on the right, outside the church:


More wandering:





I doubled back to the heritage centre area where I’d seen signs for a mussel and glass of wine for 8.95 GBP deal, which I fancied for a late lunch (2:30pm by this time). It was very nice too, except for the babies and children screaming in this restaurant. They did have a big sign saying ‘children welcome’ outside, but it was still unexpected to me.

After lunch I went looking for a specific view - I’d seen some pretty pictures of Rye on postcards, with the river and boats at the front and Rye rising up behind. I went down to the river first:


Then went back through town, looking for the old town wall:


I found this view of the old town, sort of similar to the pictures I’d seen:


I’ve  decided that it was photoshop-ed because I did not see that view anywhere, and I went looking for it specifically! Ah well.

It was about time I left. It was raining too much to take pictures, and I’d seen everything on the map anyway. I avoided walking back through the cobblestoned streets, because I’d want to take more pictures if I did! So I went back to the station a different way – of course I still found things to photograph:

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But that was it. Back on the train and back to Dover.

UK Day 28 - Broadstairs and Margate and Dover

You really need a car to do sight-seeing, if you’re in a hurry. I bought an Explorer ticket for unlimited travel at 5.50 GBP and I got the 9am bus from Dover to Ramsgate, and then hopped on a Loop bus to get to Broadstairs. I arrived at 11:30am! I could’ve got there quicker with a train and bus connection (at twice the price) or taken the anti-clockwise loop bus, if I’d known about it…ah well. The weather was beautiful all day today, which was great after yesterday. But yet, I only took 88 photos today – lowest photo count of the trip (besides the travelling days when I took none or only very few like the day I arrived in Dover.)

Broadstairs was nice. I wandered down to the beach and Viking Bay. There’s lots of ‘chalets’ lining the cliff surrounding the beach. There were even people sunbathing outside their chalets. I was curious about them so I walked along one of the ‘streets’ with the chalets on them and looked in. They’re like 180cm tall, wide and deep cubes. People have their stuff stored there for their day at the beach. There was a couple having breakfast outside their chalet. Looked like a fun thing to do! I bet they’re crowded with people in summer! There were also some more ‘free-range’ chalets that were more colourful and people had even painted pictures on some of them:


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Of course there’s all sorts of hotels and cafes by the beach too, and I stopped for a coffee at one and sat in the sun myself:

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I was vaguely interested in the Dickens House museum, but it wasn’t opening til 2pm and I had an appointment at 1.30pm and wanted to continue on. I wandered around Broadstairs a bit more, taking photos:


This place made me giggle:


I had some fish and chips for lunch at a little place that had a sign saying they won an award for their fish last year. It was rather good and only cost 6 GBP. Then it was time for my appointment. I was finally getting my haircut! It’d been driving me nuts for a couple of weeks and this morning I’d looked like a hedgehog because of washing it last night and not having a hair dryer.

After my 12 GBP special haircut, I got on the bus to Margate to check out the Shell Grotto and the Turner Gallery. Of course I had to check out the beach first. Not the most attractive one:


Next was the Tudor House, which isn’t open to the public:


And the Shell Grotto, with its room and tunnels covered in shells in intricate mosaic patterns. They reckon they don’t know who made them or how old they are. I reckon it’s gotta be gothic because of the pointed arches of the doorways and tunnels, myself:

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I headed back to the bus, winding my way through the backstreets (because that’s where the grotto was):


The local mosque!:


I caught the bus to Canterbury and another from Canterbury back to Dover. That was a lot quicker than my trip up there had been!   

When I got back to Dover, the light was so beautiful on the castle, I just had to take some more photos: