Category Archives: UK

A Glimpse of Britain in a Day

From Calais in the north of France, we crossed the English Channel under the water..
Here shown are vehicles entering the Shuttle train of the Eurotunnel which will convey them to Dover, the south of England terminal.

In England, you can eat breakfast anytime of the day. Yes, including dinnertime!

Any visitor to the UK must try “The Full English” or more commonly called “English Breakfast”.
It comprises these basic components: tomatoes, bacon, egg, mushroom, baked beans and hash browns.

Period buildings converted into apartments

Terraced housing, a result of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century when people flocked to the cities
to look for work and somewhre to live, so housing were put up quickly and as many were built as was possible.

Traces of glorious pasts abound.

Tabloid headline display stands outside a newsagent’s shop.

Old churches turned into mixed-used development.
In Dover, this church tower and its facade is the only structure left after it was bombed in the first World War,
renovated and caught fire in 2007. The land where it stands is now turned into apartments and shops.

Red poppy crowns are common sight on War Memorials in Britain, Every village, town and city has a war memorial
honoring the dead soldiers of WW1 and 2

Omnipresent on the High Street are Charity Shops

An important part of British life is the PUB. This is where the rich and the poor can gather in one place
to drink, eat and socialize. Sadly, more and more traditional pubs are disappearing in favour of development.

Coming from the Mainland where weight is not much of a problem, in Britain, I always get shocked
seeing an alarming number of Obese people walking the streets..

The clocktower of an 18th century paper mill that became a success in its time.
It has closed down a long time ago and awaiting conversion into both residential and business use.

A very English scene: covered wooden gates leading into old churchyards. They are called Lych Gates.

Broken flint stones used in building walls. This is the 12th century Buckland Church of St Andrew in Dover.

Flint stones are found in chalk, such as this one we stumbled upon while walking atop the chalky White Cliffs of Dover

Long been associated with graveyards, the Yew Tree is a symbol of everlasting life and resurrection.
This is the 1,000 year old Buckland Yew that stands next to the Church of St Andrew

The red berries of the Buckland Yew, they may look harmless but the seed is poisonous

The Celtic cross used as gravestone marker is a common feature in old cemeteries

The delightfully fragrant honeysuckle is almost a permanent sight in English gardens

The iconic red telephone box… but they will be phased out soon so go to Britain now and photograph them while they are there

Castles: famous ones or forgotten ruins, occupied or haunted

The Port of Dover is Great Britain’s Gateway to Europe and is recognised as one of the busiest passenger ferry ports in the world.

The best-loved pastime of the British is walking in the countryside

To complement Britain’s love for countryside walking, STILES such as this wooden barrier are installed
in Right of Way easements to prevent farm animals from wandering away.

Wild blackberries are a common feature of British hedgerows and woodlands.

Blueberries is becoming the most popular soft fruit in Britain.

A British icon, the Mini

It is a country where names of streets are as weird as The Butts….Arguments Road…or simply The Street.

 

The British are patriotic, they display their flag design on practically everywhere.

A common sight is the flag of England waving on building facades.
The flag of England together with those of Scotland and Ireland, superimposed together,
form the Union Jack, the national flag of Great Britain.

And oh, another permanent building facade sight is a Security Alarm System (pointing arrow on the left).

The British have a love affair with caravans. It gives them the chance to go on holiday with their
movable home at the first available time off from school or from work.

It’s time to go home, and here is the true star, the White Cliffs of Dover.

A beautiful Sunset viewed from the English Channel to wrap up our trip.

The Old Town of Dover

We arrived two hours early at Dover port where we were scheduled to take the ferry crossing to France so we thought of taking a walk by the seafront, and in order to do that, we had to negotiate a pedestrian tunnel under a busy highway of speeding trucks and cars.

And what a surprise! We discovered a part of Dover which we never knew existed – its old Town!

Well, we are not surprised if this place could easily be forgotten. The strong winds owing to its seaside location could easily discourage any visitor to come..

..but they have good hotels here actually!  Looks empty though….except, obviously, a gardener who tends these beautiful flowers

 

Stumbled upon this mosaic display showing the English channel (in blue) and the paths of the ferries crossing towards France.

A statue of Charles Stewart Rolls stands infront of a hospital-looking seaside apartment complex.

The inscription says:
The first man to cross the Channel and return in a single flight. June 2, 1910

 

And if the last name sounds familiar to you, indeed, he is the same Rolls who half-founded the Rolls-Royce!  A mechanical engineer, a pioneer pilot of sports cars and planes, Charles Rolls, together with Henry Royce, founded the prestigious brand of luxury car in 1904.

 

Returning to our car, our attention was drawn to this blue plaque.  Whoah!  so he was the man disliked by many playboys and several-times married ‘professional’ grooms!

Bye for now…England

It’s time to go and I shall miss this daffodil season of this daffodil land called England..

The Dartford bridge which we had to drive through – at cost.  It seems that the toll fee to this crossing over (and under, if made via the tunnel) the river Thames goes higher each time we negotiate it.  It was 1 pound, then 1.50 pound, and now 2pounds (that is because we drove via the van this time so it’s more expensive).

London: V & A Museum’s coffee shop

I go to the Victoria and Albert Museum not only to admire the artworks, but also to get the chance to sit in my favorite café – the stylish, the opulent, the Victorian Rennaissance style V&A Café Museum…

Dining here is the epitome of style in a pauper’s budget!  For a price of a scone and cup of coffee, or lunch of lentil salad and sandwiches,  you get to experience all this 5-star quality surroundings with a grand chandelier, Morris columns, ceramic tiled wall complete with the mural theme of the  four seasons and Greek gods and goddesses.  I feel like someone important everytime I dine there.

This is, by the way, the first café and dining section ever incorporated in a Museum – in the world!

And in order to earn the right to sit there and feel like a ‘goddess’ again,
I just had to order some lunch, indeed, a very healthy lunch!

 

This column in the Morris and ceramic section of the Museum is exactly what you see in the V&A Café