Wednesday, September 29, 2010

a day in dover

nothing could have prepared us for dover's beauty.

after our train ride from london's victoria station and through the quiet english countryside, we found ourselves in dover. like most places in europe, dover was everything i had hoped it would be. dover, with its incredibly rich history, seems out of place in a way. it was not as touristy as i had expected and it seemed like everyone loves life there.

we were a little tired from lugging our packs through town, so we opted for a late afternoon snack on the beach. this was our first encounter with a pebble, more like rock, beach. although they are gorgeous, they are difficult. at first, getting out of the water was both challenging and painful, but by the time we made it to the french riviera, k and i like to think that we had mastered the art. {*note: we didn't actually swim in the english channel because we were wearing jeans and the water was frigid (i cannot imagine it later in the year!). . . but, we did wade through the water}

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a reminded us to think of this poem on the day before we left . . . we read it aloud together and it only helped us savor our day in dover.

"The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night."

- Matthew Arnold

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{as always, if you want to see a picture more closely, just click on it. . . i need to redesign this someday, but as for now, i'm too lazy and confused}

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