Wednesday, July 11, 2018

England Trip part 6 - Old Harry Rocks


I must have been on photo-taking vacation this day. But there is not so much to report. A very leisurely day.

By 10 am James and I were supposed to be out of this place. I still can't figure out what it is called. Camping trailer? Mobile home? But it had been very good for us. Around the corner from Kate and David and exactly what we needed.

James had packed his suitcase and left with it to help David. Things he had borrowed from the scouts for the party needed to be brought back.

I packed my stuff and took care of this place. The few kitchen items needed to be washed and put back into their places, widows closed, the bedding pulled off etc. Really just a "5 minute job". At the end I took some photos. There were two bedrooms. The other had two single beds and we used it as our "dressing room" (suitcases on the beds).

There was some coming and going in River Way. Francis, Maite and the boys left at 10:30 am. David brought them to the train station to visit Nick and family in London.

Catherine and Trevor left at noon. They have more relatives to visit before returning to Australia.

Everybody had had so much food these past days that we were craving a light lunch. Jane had walked to buy some bread. Kate had asked me to make the salad. The cucumbers were out of their garden. All was perfect.

Kate, David and Jane left around 4 pm (I think but can't remember) to go to a very important event. Granddaughter Catherine (14) had taken an extra-curricular course as a firefighter and it was the closing ceremony. Most impressive what she had done in this course. She is also working on the "Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award". I find the school system here amazing and what the children here can do to get life experience. 

Robert and James went for a walk up St. Catherine's Hill where there was a nice look-out. James took this photo.

Tricia and I skipped it. I worked on the previous day's blog and "chilled". 

For dinner the 4 of us ordered Chinese take-out. That was a bit of an experience since the place which Kate had suggested was permanently closed. But having WiFi we found something else. It was fast and good. Everybody was happy. Kate had left instructions where to find the dessert. She had made "meringues" before the party, her specialty. She says they last forever and are easy to make. I had the leftover Tiramisu.

When Kate, David and Jane came back they had to report of course. When everybody tried to go to bed there was a bit of a commotion. My toothbrush had decided to quit service. Except, the battery kept beeping that it wanted to be charged but did not let me. Sometimes it was quiet for a while and sometimes it/s beeps were severe. Well, in the middle of the night it was loud and no way to shut it off. I had brought it to the furthest corner on the property but it was under a window. We had a terrible time to find a place where nobody was bothered. 


Everybody had a good nights sleep after all and woke up to a day not quite so hot. First we sat on the patio but there was shade and actually too cold. So we moved into the sun.

We had discussed what everybody was doing today. Robert and Tricia where driving back in their rental car to Gatwick to fly back to Scotland. Jane was driving back to Windsor with most of our luggage. James and I were having one more night with Kate and David and wanted to do an outing. When we were getting ready the postman came and brought a large box.

The golden couple's thank-you for a great party in their honor. The surprise was a great success.

After saying our good-byes the 4 of us were on our way. First stop: buying pasties for our picnic lunch ... at the butcher.

From Christchurch through Bournemouth to Poole Harbor. In the garden we had talked about it and then googled. No definite answer to which is the largest natural harbor in the world. Is it Poole or Sydney or ? Well, it is large!

There was a line for the ferry. David stayed in the car but encouraged us to get out and walk the rest. He was sure we would get on it first time. It was very interesting. The ferry goes forth and back on the chains. The current is so strong here at the harbor entrance that any other way would be very difficult. 

David's years of experience. Yes, we got on. No problem. I asked the attendant. 48 cars fit. We walked up but only for a very short time because you can't hold up the traffic when it arrives. 

We drove some country roads but not far and then found a good parking lot with a few empty spaces. And with a National Trust membership it is even free.

Off to a great hike. Past a pub, here the road makes a sharp right but we go left. The trashcan at the house with the thatched roof says so.

The beginning.

The way kept changing. We kept looking for a good picnic spot. It was almost 2 pm by now. James had tried a narrow way to the left at one spot but it was nothing but cliff drop down. David tried here and motioned for us to come.

Perfect. It even had a bench in the shade.

And a super view.

Two men came to have a look too and I asked one to take a photo. Of course he did.

Real Cornish Pasty!

And then it was time to move on. 

First VIDEO.

Uh, Kate, don't go backwards.

You could take a thousand photos here. Listen to the larks. Watch the sailboats. Lots of different wild flowers.

Second VIDEO.

And then they asked me how my knee was doing. Do we go back the same way? Or do we walk the loop which is a little further, like 2 and a half times? Kate offered to go back with me. And miss out on something? No way!

Yes, I was there. Photo taken by James.

Ha-ha, I am actually laying on by stomach to take this photos, carefully making sure to miss anything the cows might have left because we are in their field.
I can't decide which photo of the next two I like better (story of my life).

Poole Harbor. Yes, it is large.

View to Swanage.

Turn right here! And downhill from now on.

That gravel down hill was the worst for my knee but we made it.

And then it was a "real" road past multi-million pound houses.

Ending up at the pub where we had parked.

Next stop: Corfe. From Corfe Castle nothing is left but ruins. Decided we didn't need to see it any closer. Can't do everything.

The town is very cute.

Around the corner was the train station. Kate and David knew that this is a kind of museum and you could take a real steam train to Swanage. By chance we could see the last train of the day arrive any minute.

There it comes! Yes, VIDEO!

Walking back to the car.

 Looking for a place to have dinner. The first stop is not a success. We go on.

The second stop: The Stocks Inn
Nice atmosphere. Friendly service. We liked the food.

David and James had Steak and Ale pies.

I had fish pie. OMG it was good. Kate said at home looking at the photos that I had not taken a photo of hers. She had fish cakes.

James and my plates. Ha-ha, it was not good at all!

We watched the second half of the France-Belgium FIFA game in the comfortable living room recliners. 

Helen and William FaceTimed with us. Kate had told me that they had taken Helen and Sarah to the Old Harry Rocks after Catherine and Trevor's wedding 13 years ago. Helen right away said "oh yes, the white cliffs" and even elaborated on it. I was impressed.

After that we had dessert. There will still meringues. Well, of course I had to taste them too. But you have to sit at the dining room table because they crumble so much.

At the end Jim walked in. Of course he had to work today. He 'reluctantly' agreed to have dessert too. I asked whether he could demonstrate how you eat them. I love the way he does things. I gave instructions between every step.

You take a spoon full of heavy cream (which is almost like cream cheese).

You put it on the back of a meringue.

You flatten it and spread it with the back of the spoon.

And eat it.

And then you have the cream all around your mouth.

Thank you, Jim. Come and visit us in Virginia and show us again.

The end of another great day. Fitbit said I had taken 16,684 steps = 48 floors. I felt great. No problem sleeping. 

1 comment:

  1. We took that very ferry when we were in England. We ended up feeling very silly because we were a couple of cars back and couldn’t see ahead. We had no idea how long (or rather SHORT) the ride would be and talked about getting out of the car to stretch our legs and maybe find a bar on the ferry for a drink. Before we could decide, the ferry docked and we realized that our ride had been less than 5 minutes long!

    And, though we tried and tried, we never could find Old Harry Rocks! I so wanted to show them to Mike, because I knew he would love them. We found Swanage alright, but the Rocks eluded us! And we loved Corfe. We clambered around the ruins for an hour with the wind threatening to blow us off. To this day, the picture on my laptop is my dream cottage in Corfe village.

    I am loving this and you are bringing back wonderful memories!