Kev, Ralph, and the Mole Reunite!


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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Kent » Canterbury
August 6th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 51.2773, 1.08052

We started off today as passengers in an above ground vehicle: a cab. We would call it a van, but would later be corrected that it was a people mover. Vans here are large trucks. We made this choice because of the tube strike. It turned out to be a wise choice, much easier than dragging our luggage on a 61 minute underground maze of a journey. Despite the heavy traffic, we made it to London City Airport in a little less than an hour. Along the way, we got to see London's “lovely” East End as well as some residential neighborhoods.
We picked up our own people carrier and headed out for Canterbury guided by Siri. She was pretty accurate with the many roundabouts. After going below the Thames though Black Wall Tunnel, we were on our way. After a journey through the Kent countryside we found ourselves at Travelodge Chaucer Canterbury. It took us awhile to figure out how to put the people carrier into reverse gear, but thanks to the Citroen's user manual, we learned the secret trick. Nobody had to push.
Next we worked our way through the grounds of Canterbury Christ Church University (formerly Christ Church College, the site of Jake's study abroad experience during the spring of 1996.) The place has grown and remodeled considerably in the last 19 years and it was a nice trip down memory lane for Jake.
We ventured to the High Street and stopped off into PoundLand (where everything costs one pound). It was like a Dollar Tree, but with slightly thicker branches. Soon after we met up with Karen, Jake's host mom from 1996. She led us on a walking tour of the High Street area and cathedral grounds. We ate our sandwiches picked up from Marks & Spencer in the cathedral cloister. The cathedral is constantly under renovation and much progress has been made over the last two decades in masonry as well as stained glass preservation.
Next it was time for dinner at Wetherspoons/West Gate Inn just outside the city's West Gate. We sat outside on a patio and enjoyed conversation. Our fare was a mixture of traditional English and Indian curry dishes.
From there, it was time for a pub crawl. First stop, the Black Griffin, a youngster of a pub dating to 1888. We'll leave the details of a pub crawl up to the reader's imagination, but let's just say there were two more stops: The Cherry Tree (est. 1372), and The Three Tuns (ca. 1500s). A great night of catching up on current events, reminiscing, learning the intricacies of cricket, and trans-Atlantic vocabulary corrections was enjoyed by all.
A vocabulary lesson:
British --> American
Handbag = pursePurse = woman's wallet/coin purseGarden = backyardRubbish = trash


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