Sandwich for lunch
Sandwich Travel Blog› entry 9 of 12 › view all entries
April 19th, 2009 – by: goezi
We'd done most of what Canterbury had to offer and were still trying to fill one more day so it made sense to make a side trip. We flicked through the magazine telling us about the area and I suggested we go to Sandwich for a sandwich.
As I mentioned in the Canterbury entry, it was cold!! I mean cold!! We had to wait about 1/2 hour for the bus and I was not happy sitting on the perch at the Canterbury bus station so we walked through the Whitefriars shopping area in an effort to stay out of the wind and to keep the blood circulating.
The bus was pumping plenty of warm air around our seats so that was much nicer once we got under way. The driver was very helpful. So we let him tell us a few areas of Sandwich to visit.
Bearing in mind it was Sunday morning we didn't meet many vehicles on the road there. pretty lucky really because there wasn't the room for our bus and a car to pass by each other. A couple of times cars were forced to back up for us. I know I've said it before but these English country lanes are shocking.
Sandwich was deserted! After we'd done a circuit we passed a couple of churches so perhaps that's what happens on Sunday morning in this town. Other than the full carparks outside church we really only saw two teams playing soccer on a wet field down by the river -mad buggers!
We started our exploration from the bus stop.
That's what we did.
This town is old. Actually this whole area seemed to have a much older feel than elsewhere I've been in England. Lots of Tudor houses squat on the side of narrow roads, whether it be Canterbury, Sandwich, Battle or Hastings.
We found the river first. It was more of a stream really and I wondered how all these canal boats and fishing vessels got up to their moorings. It must create quite a bottle neck at times. There didn't seem to be sufficient room for all of them to be here.
A couple of them had smoke coming from chimneys and I wished I was inside the cabins crouched beside the fire myself.
Anyway, following the river led us to the lake. We passed the field where those crazy men were playing soccer and came to a gate, through which was the Gazen Salts Nature Reserve. We assumed this was the lake the driver had spoken of so we followed the trail through the gate.
It was pretty wet and scrubby in there. I imagine the trail would be delightful in summer but now it was overgrown and devoid of colour. Everything was grey and bleak. The lake was more of a pond. It was polluted and I felt for the ducks that hurried into the water as we approached. Up a tree behind us a squirrel climbed out of reach. We don't have squirrels in NZ so that was kinda nice to see.
We continued around the trail and to be fair, I have to say there was work being carried out here and there through the forest.
That's about the time we got lost in the narrow alley ways. One of the alleys we went down was called "Holy Ghost Alley". It sounded pretty cool but we read that it had only been called that for a couple of years, and we didn't see a single ghost. There was a very nicely tiled roof along the path though so I was satisfied the deviation had been worthwhile.
Ma was getting a bit worried we had become totally lost as we passed by one of the churches. She wanted to duck in and seek directions but I convinced her we were circling town and would be back in the centre soon.
We were in time to take the 12 noon bus back to Canterbury. We still hadn't stopped for our sandwich and it seemed Sunday morning wasn't really the time to come here for breakfast. In the end we decided to shoot around the corner to the supermarket. It was a bit of a let down when we bought a couple of plastic wrapped salad sarnies from there, not much romance in that!
We got back to the bus stop just in time and ate our sandwiches as we traveled. I'm delighted to say that by the time we got back to Canterbury the sun was doing it's best for us and the afternoon was turning out to be very nice, even to the point I had to take my jacket off!
I think our little trip to Sandwich was a triumph. It was a lovely town but I bet it's even nicer in summer!
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