Monday, 25 October 2010

Travelling Back to the UK - Part 3

On the ferry, leaving Calais harbour.

Our first view of the UK; the "White Cliffs of Dover". This photo was taken from the ferry, through salt covered windows!

The White Cliffs of Dover are cliffs which form part of the British coastline, facing the Strait of Dover and looking across the  English Channel to France, about 20 miles away. The cliff face, which reaches up to 107 metres (351 ft) above sea level, owes its striking façade to its composition of chalk (pure white calcium carbonate) accentuated by streaks of black flint. The cliffs spread east and west from the town of Dover in the county of Kent, an ancient and still important English port. The cliffs have great symbolic value for Britain because they face towards Continental Europe across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened, and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard. Because crossing at Dover was the primary route to the continent before air travel, the white line of cliffs also formed the first or last sight of the UK for travellers.
Leaving the ferry at Dover.

Driving through the ferry terminal at Dover, with the White Cliffs in the background.

This is on the M25 four lane ring road all around London. The sign reads "Congestion, stay in lane, 50mph". We think this sign was inaccurate,as there was no congestion, but these gantry signs are notoriously unreliable. If you dare drive faster than 50mph while the signs are up, however, the cameras will zap you and you get a fine in the post!!

The planes were flying over at very regular intervals as we neared Heathrow Airport, west of central London. London Heathrow,  in the London Borough of Hillingdon is the largest airport in the UK. It is the fourth busiest airport in the world, in terms of total passenger traffic and it handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world. It is also the busiest airport in the European Union in terms of passenger traffic and the second busiest in terms of traffic movements, second to Paris CDG airport in Paris, France.

I gave up with the camera after this; there is little of the countryside to be seen from the road on this route. Everything is built-up area, concrete and tarmac and the drive loses all viewing interest!!

53 comments:

  1. The 'white cliffs of Dover' are beautiful! I've read about them, but never seen an actual photograph.
    thank you for sharing :)

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  2. Curious...after getting on the car ferry, how much time passes until you get off in the UK?

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  3. Have always loved the song, The White Cliffs of Dover. Now I get to see them ; -)

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  4. I've never seen a real person's pictures of the White Cliffs. Very impressive, especially the photo taken from land!

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  5. thanks so much for showing it the White Cliffs of Dover... lovely view... isn't it a pity the road has a poor view... I'm sure it was gorgeous once!

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  6. The view from the ferry ride seems like the best part of this leg of the journey. Dang, but cities all around the world are all concrete jungles.

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  7. Oh I remember the M25 well, especially those last two photos you posted. Sitting here, with no fires on as not very cold, although I am wrapped up anyway, and remembering my time on that road, well.... it is good to be here and not there! Thanks for reinforcing that for me, Diane, and hope you are keeping well.

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  8. Indie. Tea, thanks for the visit, glad to hear you have at last seen the White Cliffs of Dover, they are quite spectacular. Diane

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  9. Susan that particular ferry is 1 ½ hours. We used to use the speed ferry which was from Dover to Boulogne-sur-Mer and that was only ¾ of an hour. Unfortunately due to the financial situation it has stopped running. You also have to remember that France is one hour ahead of the UK so that also makes a difference to arrival time. Diane

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  10. Joyful, glad you have now seen the Cliffs, it may mean a bit more when you hear the song next time:-) Diane

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  11. I do love boats and ferries when the sea is not too rough. Great post Diane.

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  12. Marjie the Cliffs are quite a spectacular arrival to the UK if travelling to Dover, glad you enjoyed the photos. Diane

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  13. lostpastremembered after the beauty of travelling on the roads in France I found the UK main roads quite a shock. It is the first time I have done the trip since starting my blog, and the first time I was using the camera en route!!! There is a mass of beauty in the country but little from the highways. Diane

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  14. Gaelyn you are so right. Once off of the ferry there was little worth taking photos of. How I hate the concrete jungle! Diane

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  15. I would one day love to see the White Cliffs of Dover for myself. They are stunning and such a famous landmark.

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  16. Vera using my camera for the first time on this trip made me realise just how depressing the M25 was compared with the highways in France. I admit the latter is much larger and perhaps easier to have some beauty around, but it was very noticeable. Mind you if we went via Paris perhaps I would not have been quite so impressed, but at least one has a choice of roads. The only choice we really have in the UK is the M25. Roll on Nigel’s retirement! Diane

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  17. Joan I also love travelling over water, yes I also agree when it is not too rough! I hate the tunnel:-( Diane

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  18. Firefly, they are an amazing landmark. Can you imagine during the war how glad the soldiers were when returning from France in little boats to see those cliffs?
    I hope you get to see them one day. Diane

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  19. It's 6.20 pm in Melbourne and I'm catching up with my Blog reading. Enjoying your trip back home, or shall I call it your 2nd home as I know you as a person living in France!!!!
    While driving home tonight, I passed a very nice MGBGT and it reminded me of the one on the side panel of your blog. Tell me it's yours.
    Leon

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  20. Leon sorry to disappoint you but no it is not mine. The house for sale belongs to a friend, and the MG is the next door neighbour. Many years ago my brother had a TF which I would love to own now. Nigel and I are Porsche fans; we had to sell the 356 roadster when we moved from SA to help buy a house in the UK. We brought the 911 over to the UK, but then had to sell that to help buy the house in France. Oh well they did some good beside the fun we had with them in earlier days :-) Diane

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  21. Always found it a little exciting boarding a ferry. How they line up all the cars and get you on and off so fast is something. Unless it is brutally cold, I like to stand in the front and let the wind hit my face.
    I have seen pictures of the cliffs before but not from the roadside, and yes, the song is running through my mind.

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  22. Great post! What wonderful photos of the Cliffs. They have to be amazing to see in person. That's kind of like the interstate roads around Chicago, very little to see other than cars and concrete. It looks like you're having great weather for traveling back. We are having very high winds here for the next 3 days, 60 MPH and thunderstorms. The lowest barometer readings in many many years. Very eerie!

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  23. Mya I have just put a link to the song on the post as other people have mentioned the the words are running through their heads. Yes I also love the wind in my hair if it is not too cold. Diane

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  24. Pam, yes the weather was good driving back to the UK though we did go through a bit of rain in France. The weather here in the UK is terrible. Cold, rain and high winds, it is miserable to say the least of it. I want my French wood stove!! Diane

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  25. The white cliffs are beautiful!

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  26. Gorgeous white cliffs indeed! Happy Mid-week! Keep warm!

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  27. Pam, they are lovely and quite a land mark. Diane

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  28. Such lovely pictures! I'd love to see the White Cliffs of Dover, they're really breathtaking!

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  29. lani, keeping warm is not easy today, it is cold, wet and very windy! Have a good day. Diane

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  30. Thanks Faith. Maybe one day you will get to see them :-) Diane

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  31. I had a question about the time the ferry takes Diane, but I see you have already answered for someone else. We have always used the channel tunnel since moving here as it is so much quicker. However to get a crossing at a reasonable price you need to book so far in advance, so we were considering different options for this winters trip. Which do you recommend?

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  32. Lindy you get what you pay for! Speed for a price in the tunnel or slower for a cheap trip on the ferry. I prefer the ferry as I have said I do not like the tunnel. Winter the water may be rough so....... We may go to N. France for New Year and I suspect if we do we will go through the tunnel - I have Nigel to hang onto while we travel :-) Sorry this answer is not much help!! Perhaps booking in advance is the answer if you do not mind the tunnel. There is not really a lot of choice. Diane

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  33. Once again you have posted wonderful photos and interesting stories! My favorite picture is of the Cliffs!

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  34. Linda the cliffs are are quite stunning. Thanks for your comments. Diane

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  35. I am intrigued to see where you are comiong back to - and do you like the blue sky that we arranged especially fotr you!
    xxxx

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  36. Hi Diane:- this brought back memories of my 3 trips across firstly from Oostend to Dover then twice from Calais to Dover. I loved the crosssing and it was good to see your pics of the white cliffs because that's exactly how I remembered them.
    ~Dianne~

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  37. Diane arrival to a blue sky was just fine, but the last few days of grey, wet and cold I could do well without!! My neighbour in France says, although the weather is cool the skies are blue, Roll on the end of March and my return :-) Diane

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  38. Hi Dianne, it seems the white cliffs are very memorable to people who have seen them. I feel sad that nowadays so many people travelling in the tunnel never get to see them. Diane

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  39. It brings up old memories of the time I used to travel from Paris to Scotland and back... to fetch a suitcase full of smoke salmons in Aberdeen! LOL!!!
    Have a great winter back in the UK and hopefully not too cold!!
    Cheers!

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  40. Hi Noushka, Mmmmmmm smoked salmon, with out a doubt worth the trip!

    It has been cold, wet, windy and dreary for the past couple of days, need I say more about my feelings of being here. Diane

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  41. Thanks for response Diane, will have to do some research.

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  42. The cliffs are so spectacular! thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures!

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  43. Lindy there is aways the option of the long trip from Le Havre or Cherbourg, but we think the costs are outrageous by comparison! Diane

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  44. Quay Po Cooks, thanks for your visit, you are right the cliffs are quite spectacular. Hope to see you again soon. Diane

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  45. Hello Diane .. Thank you for you wonderful comment on the Cahors Market .. :-) I love the markets over there.

    The last time I went on a ferry, was the most horrendous journey in my entire life. They should not of even left France .. Weather conditions were so bad. It was ok in the dock , Everyone was being ill.. I had to hang on for dear life, the crockery was falling off the shelves .. kid you not.. the staff were trying to help everyone.. I was so ill for a few days ..

    20 miles away is all we are away from France .. :-( with the sea in the middle.

    I bet you cannot wait for March to come .. Sure you don't want to stay here :-) :-) I know your answer.

    I did not know you came from SA!!

    Anyway lets hope we can meet up soon!! Take care , keep warm and dry in the horrendously cold UK climate .

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  46. Anne, I have had one trip that was a bit rough but that is all and I go over regularly. Luck of the draw!!

    Yep, March can not arrive quickly enough for me.

    I hope we can make a plan for next week. Diane

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  47. When I saw the White Cliffs of Dover I always have to sing the song...in my head anyway!

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  48. Lyndsey, I think they have that effect on a lot of people :-) Diane

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  49. The white cliffs of Dover are such a view! Fantastic!

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  50. JM they are quite stunning when seeing them from out at sea. Diane

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  51. Ooo... the 2nd picture looks awesome! Thanks and Have a safe journey.
    Kristy

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  52. Hi Diane... Well, I see I needed to catch up on your blog! Looks like you've been mighty busy! Glad you made it over okay and got to meet Anne already...

    Time for a cup of tea cuz the weather here is sooo gray and cold this a.m.!

    Take care,
    Leesa

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