|The White Cliffs of Dover|
Soaring 350 feet above the English Channel and located about 21 miles from the northern coast of France, these chalky white cliffs are an impressive sight. The distance is so short that on a clear day, much like the one we visited, you can clearly France from the top of the cliffs. During the 1940 Battle of Britain, reporters are said to have watched the aerial maneuvers of the British and German pilots from the top of them. The cliffs themselves are composed of chalk, flint and quartz but because of their materials, are actually quite soft. This results in their eroding just under half an inch a year. Now this may not sound like a lot but over time it adds up. And sometimes, as was the case as recently as 2001 and again in 2012, large chunks of the cliffs have given way and collapsed into the sea. (Hence the reason visitors are advised to stay away from the edges of the cliffs).
After leisurely stroll up and down the hills we treated ourselves to a traditional cream tea at a cute little tea house that shared space with the lighthouse. Sidney checked out the old cannons that were on the lighthouse grounds while I simply enjoyed the view and the smell of the sea air. I have come to realize that not all sea air is created equal; the warm sultry smells of the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas only vaguely resemble the crisp Atlantic smells I grew up with. For me, the air in Dover was reminiscent of my childhood. The walk back to the car was slower; we took the "lower" route which had considerably more dips and hills, including a rather steep set of stairs that scaled a hill. But the climb was worth it. Actually the entire visit was worth it and although it was the first stop on our getaway to Kent it was by far my favorite. I dare say I would return in a heartbeat.
|Worn paths crisscrossing the top of the cliffs|
The White Cliffs of Dover & South Foreland Lighthouse
Telephone: 01304 202756