With the sound of the waves clapping against the cliffs, a coastal breeze that circulated through the air, a blue fall sky cast above me, and the smell of the fresh salty air, I was very content. I was near the ocean. As the big blue sea is one of my favorite places to be, I jump at any opportunity to be near it. Through our program, IES provides us with different excursions that we can choose to go on. So far, I have had the opportunity to go to three different coastal towns : Dover, Hastings, and Rye. Each encompassing their own character.
I had been anticipating this trip for a while. It was one of the locations I told family and friends back home that I was most looking forward to seeing. Something about the vibrant green landscape mixed in with the chalky white cliffs being touched by the blue ocean water created a mystical experience that lived up to my hopeful expectations for this place. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The temperature was just right, the weather cooperated, and the sky was crystal clear which allowed us to see France from afar; a rare commodity one might say. Apart from seeing the White Cliffs of Dover, we were also taken to Dover Castle and Secret Wartime Tunnels that allowed me to gain a first-hand experience of what it was like to be a princess during the medieval times and the expansive network that went into Britain’s WWII wartime effort.
Hastings & Rye
For another one of our day trips, we headed south again to two different towns: Hastings & Rye. The weather in this case was a bit moodier as one may say. Right when we stepped off the bus, torrential downpour came out of nowhere to welcome us to the coast. After 5 minutes, everything from head to toe was soaked. The preconceived notions of what weather was like in England, especially on the coast, was granted true that day. The towns were so cute though! As Hastings is right on the ocean, it makes for a very good fishing town. Some of the best fish and chips I’ve had so far have been from this spot. The town of Rye was a little more inland. This spot embodied a traditional cozy English town. With cobbled stone streets, green tipped roofs, and the best spot for cream tea, it was nothing like I had experienced before!
As the hustle and bustle of city life can be a little overstimulating at times, I’m thankful for places like these coastal towns where I have been able to escape for a day. Life moves at a little slower pace down here. They not only offer me a new perspective of what all England has to offer but they show you how each different town throughout the country carries its own personality. Thankful for this experience!