Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sussex & Kent Tour

I decided to start the Bank Holiday bicycle tour from Brighton, and in order to depart early in the morning, it was better to stay overnight nearby. I booked a place in Truleigh Hill hostel. Well, if you see “hill” in the name, be careful, because it may come out as ‘the’ hill. I realised this when that small [on map] 3-mile distance turned into long and painful climbing in the dark evening countryside. Only in the morning I understood how hilly it was. Nevertheless, the morning downhill was really joyful, and I saw very many sheep and an impressive private school

Brighton is a resort of the same style as Nice, but cleaner – and almost as hot, I got +33 that day (still having brown face). The coastal path is amazing, with high white cliffs

I got some shots on the way

and was lucky to get to a medieval festival in Herstmonceux Castle near Hastings

with exhibitions of armory

and pretty dressed actors

Unfortunately, I have no bumper on my bicycle, otherwise I would buy a sticker

I especially like that one: “Love your enemies, it really gets them confused”.

After the festival, I came to Battle with its abbey

and saw the battlefield where in 1066 William the Conqueror defeated Saxon army

I arrived at Hastings and spent a very comfortable night under full moon – full moon is the right time to travel, lots of light and active physically

In the morning, the weather was fresher and hills didn’t look that tiresome. The good thing about hills is that they allow to take wonderful pictures on their top:

and to have cool downhill (although too short)

This picture is like a wonderful painting, isn’t it?

Or this one

I climbed to private Lympne Castle for half an hour – just to make this shot:

Found a XII century church

The graveyards make one think about the meaning of life, indeed

This one is of family where their only son died of wounds in the First World War - what a tragedy

The next night I stayed in Dover, which in spite of its industrial status is quite attractive

Then again cliffs and beautiful view

The last, third day of the tour was the most exciting, because I arrived in the historic area where so many events happened in the past, from Vikings invasion to arrival of St Augustine.

First I saw Deal with its quite modern castle

Then I came to ancient Sandwich

People are coming for holiday there, quite a popular place – many in posh cars

There is a Roman fort nearby

I am trying to count how many Roman sites I have seen in Europe, from England to Israel. A hundred? What an impact Romans have made on our civilization, in every aspect.

Near Ramsgate, the Viking Coastal Trail starts, from this replica ship dedicated to their arrival in the 5th century

But I first took left from the main road to see St Augustine Cross

and St Augustine Abbey in Minster.

I had a chat with a nun, I was interested how people chose that path. I asked her whether she felt somehow separated from her country which doesn’t share her believes. She gently answered that she was interested in matters higher than this. Maybe she is right. In the hierarchy of the values, the highest is the faith, - then the country, the family, and the self. But the country still exists in this hierarchy - quite important, at least for me. There are 12 nuns living there, and most of them came out to be foreigners – maybe this explains.

After the abbey, I came back to Ramsgate

with its picturesque marina

and beach

The Viking Trail is unforgettable. I have never seen in my life such beauty of nature. It was very wise of Vikings to come there

This castle was once private, but now is divided into flats – lucky people living there!

I finished the 350-km tour in Canterbury

[well, almost finished, because it took eight more hours to come home, due to rail engineering works, which always happen on bank holidays]

Now you ask where is astrology in this post? My ruler of ascendent, Venus (me), is placed on fixed star Saiph, which belongs to the constellation of Orion. Orion is the giant, hunter and warrior, and this particular star gives prosperity in voyages. “A son of Orion will be worth a multitude and will seem to dwell in every quarter of the city”. And you know what part of Orion does Saiph mark? The right knee.

Bringing news by means of knees. Symbolic, isn’t it?


Anonymous said...

I enjoy these life-asserting associations :-) Deep and manysided. Thanks ;)

Laura Elizabeth said...

I really enjoy the photos and stories from your trips you share with us.

Valerie Livina said...

Thank you for your kind words.


S.I. said...

Wow, very nice, this gives me a good idea for my next trip... by car!

Valerie Livina said...

The trip by car is a good idea as well - you will just need to park and walk in some areas, where the path is only for pedestrians and bikers (most of the Vikings Trail, for instance).

Good luck.