Friday, 18 April 2014

On Saturday I travelled down to Kent to meet my second cousin. At St. Pancras station I stupidly thought they would announce the train before it left. They don’t, I realised this as my train glided away into the distance. Luckily I could get on the next one, 15 minutes later I was off on my adventure.

On arrival at Ebbsfleet, I felt like a person at the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport, searching for their family- but I didn’t really know what my family looked like. When I saw him, I knew. I instantly liked Mick and his partner Sharon. They are talkative, friendly and joke around a lot so relaxed quickly. I’ll admit I was nervous about meeting; what if there were just a lot of awkward silences or boring conversation.

Mick and Sharon took me to Hythe, which is the starting point of a miniature steam train that runs down to Dungeness and back. The ride down to Dungeness was great, it was lovely to watch the countryside roll by and hilarious to watch Mick climb through the tiny carriage doors. At Dungeness the three of us climbed the old lighthouse. The view from the top was spectacular with blistering cold winds to match. My fingers had flashbacks of being at the top of the Empire State building in January last year.
The trains
Rapeseed fields 
The lighthouse (and the crowds)
a third of the way up
cool coloured glass half way up
the same coloured glass
the view two thirds of the way up

two thirds up from a different window

The view from the top (new lighthouse in the distance)
For lunch we visited the Britannia Inn for fish and chips (Mick and Sharon also had mushy peas). This pub is the first proper English pub I’ve been in – the other was a fancy gastro-pub. Along all of the exposed ceiling beams were a fantastic array of every sort of keychain imaginable.

Things i saw in Dungeness:
- nuclear power station,
- a human size pile of odd shoes that have been left on the beach,
- a weasel, and 
- bluebells

Nuclear, its pronounced nuclear. 
 After lunch we caught the train back up to Hythe, this time we hopped out at the other stations along the way to have a look around.

After we completed our journey Sharon wanted to take me to look at these great nic-nac stores in Hythe, unfortunately being a bank holiday weekend they all shut earlier. The idea of ice cream was raised, so we set off in search of that. We found it at a little seaside town called Dymchurch. It had an old school amusement arcade opposite the ice cream shop, which has machines you put 2p in a slider pushes all the other 2p’s inside until they all fall down. It sounds simple but it was great fun, I would love to go back there. After ice cream we headed home. 
It was such a lovely day; I am looking forward to hanging out with them again.


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