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My beloved Brit and I took  break from the beautiful gardens of Kent when we were in England this summer to drive down to The White Cliffs of Dover and have a visit with his aunt and uncle who have lived in that area for years.

The White Cliffs loom above the coast everywhere. Photo by me

We went right down to the seafront to a classic hotel we knew from past visits for a lunch overlooking the English Channel. We could watch the huge ferries come and go between Dover and France over our leek and potato soup. Perfect for a chilly rainy day in England.

The old Churchill hotel is now a Best Western, beautifully redone. Photo by me.

We lingered over lunch as we watched the ferry traffic come and go outside the window.


It was a bit rainy during parts of the day (how unusual) and still the trucks lined up in great ques beneath the White Cliffs waiting to take their place on the massive boats that came and went through the sea wall with frightening regularity.  It was great fun.

MBB’s uncle, and aunt, had worked on, and with, the ships for decades, including the P&O Line, better known as the “Pooh Line”.  His uncle, who had worked for years with Dover Port Authority, told us over lunch that some of these boats carried more than 500-1300 cars and lorries per trip, plus cargo, and explained some of the navigational intricacies of the crossing which only takes a bit over an hour to cross to France.

It was a fascinating couple of hours, and we left with a reconfirmation of just what it meant to be a huge island nation.

The coast of Dover, England’s border on the English Channel. Photo by me.

The rest of the world is always across a stretch of sea, and you are connected to the outside world in many ways, but one of the most important in England is boats in all shapes and sizes.