Dover, Kent, England. In my entire life, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to travel to Dover. But there I was, early one Thursday morning, packing to travel across the English Channel to visit the famous town.
After class, my best friend and I made our way to Maastricht station, in order to board a train to Brussels, where we’d be taking the Chunnel under the English Channel. I had coffee in my system and food in my tummy, I was set. The train ride to Brussels went flawlessly, it was as easy as all our other train rides and we made it with enough time to get through security.
As we walked up and scanned our ticket, I looked around to the faces that I did not recognize. I thought to myself, I wonder who is taking this train, are they travelers like we are? The security at the station for the Chunnel was as intense as security at an airport! First, we were interrogated by the Brussels police. They asked so many questions, like why were we in Brussels, why were we leaving, where we were studying, where we were staying, all questions that I was thankful I could answer off the top of my head. After getting our stamp, it was time to go through the U.K. immigration. Although this officer was much nicer and easygoing, he asked us almost all the same questions. Then, he stamped our passports and let us through. We boarded the train with no problem at all! Next stop: Dover, Kent.
As our train pulled into Dover, we looked out the windows to see the English Channel. If you looked hard enough, you could see the border of France. The seagulls were soaring overhead, enjoying the view as much as we were. The little sea-side towns were passing by quickly, filled with small apartments and tiny roads. One of the towns we passed is called Ramsgate, this town is where my grandmother’s mother grew up, as well as some of my family resides. Being able to see this from the train was enough to settle my curiosity.
Dover was not much different from the towns we saw on the train. As we got off the train, the station only had two tracks and minimal seating. Right outside of the station, we walked up the hill to our little Bed & Breakfast. The view was amazing, the channel was spread out among the land, and the white cliffs stood out against the blue. After settling into our accommodations for the weekend, my friend and I set out to explore. As we hiked up the cliffs, the view got clearer. The white cliffs almost looked like snow, and the green grass swayed in the wind. Wildflowers littered the grassy areas, the long strands taken captive by the wind. The beauty struck me, there is no place in the U.S. that looks like this. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am here soaking it in. I cannot believe it. This trip has given me so much, and so many sights to see. But Dover, Kent, is my favorite.