We’ve arrived in the UK for a new itinerary! The first stop is Dover, England! Not the most beautiful city in all the land but my British friends told me they try to keep Dover sort of ugly to keep the French out because it’s only 23 miles away from France…typical French and British rivalry. The most striking sights are the famous White Cliffs of Dover and the Dover Castle, both of which you could see from the ship. (see the blue photo Basti took from our window! so cool!) Friends from the party band that were on the ship when we got are originally from Dover, so now on vacation, they showed a big group of us around. We wandered through the small town and the first order of business was getting fish and chips, DUH! We walked up to a simple, order behind the counter, take away (see how cultured I’m becoming…I don’t say the American “take out” anymore) place and were very satisfied. We then walked through streets with British flags and red doors found our way to one of their big vans, it’s honestly a small bus. They call it Phil’s creeper van, but since he is a sweetheart, I really don’t think it suites him. We piled in (with plenty of seatbelts mom!) and drove up a steep hill to Dover Castle.

Perched grandly on top of the White Cliffs of Dover, this beautiful medieval castle has stood guard for almost a thousand years. It’s protected England from invaders from Roman through modern times and has undeniable majesty. We moseyed through wartime tunnels from the 1790s when the threat of Napoleon was looming and the secret passageways were without a doubt haunted with gruesome war memories. Adventuring to the top of Henry II’s Great Tower, made for an awesome view. The walls were up to 20 feet thick, supposedly Henry II slept on the top floor, surrounded by his best protection to stay safe. Phil, our driver/tour guiding friend, mentioned how in tact Dover Castle really was. He said most castles in England, much like the Wall of China, were invaded by commoners for materials to build their houses, but this one was in great shape. We couldn’t start our trip in the UK without a pub visit, so we stopped for a beer and celebrated being with good friends.