This week I had a couple of days together with no student group commitments, so on Wednesday morning I woke up very early to catch a train to the southeastern English coast where my former college roommate and adventure partner picked me up. Gemma was one of the first people I met upon moving to Wales, as she and I were placed next to each other in the dorms. We each had Spanish as one of our majors and did our Erasmus semester in Spain together in Granada. There are a couple of long-term friends who I consider to have had a major impact on helping me become the person I am today, and she is near the top of that list. She taught me so much about kindness, British culture, and life in general.
On my last visit to the UK we were supposed to reunite, but shortly before she went on a holiday to Spain and experienced some very scary pregnancy complications that caused her to be in hospital there for a month, so we, understandably, could not see each other. Now she has a healthy and thriving 13 month old who I was so excited to meet.
|Don't be fooled, she was very smiley for most of the visit.|
Deal is also part of a chain of ports, the Cinque Ports, and King Henry VIII commissioned a castle here for strategic defense of the coast. Deal castle is in the design of a Tudor rose and looks very impressive in aerial photos. It is really well preserved and this time of year was lovely with all sorts of wildflowers and flower beds all around it in bloom.
As you can see, we're still having beautiful weather and from the beach you could see France.
|Bonjour! (It's the dark bit on the horizon in the middle of the photo)|
|My phone has gotten a little confused.|
|The beach here is pebble rather than sand|
|A bit of Deal, as seen from the pier|
Deal is also only about 20 minutes from Dover, so we took a short car journey there on Wednesday afternoon.
Most Americans who have heard of Dover know of its famous white cliffs.
|The Instagram view|
|The reality view|
|Feeling fancy with a cream tea|