On our third day we were determined to get up early and see some more sites. We left Ben in charge and he did not disappoint. We stumbled onto a lovely beach at St. Margaret’s Bay which was surrounded by the white cliffs of Dover.
We had a small snack at the beach from a stand which was carefully attended to by a agreeable chap named Geeves (totally made up name). Geeves was wearing a tie to flip burgers and make coffee. This would not happen in the USA. Sure you may get a charmer but a tie, not likely. The food was good, reasonably priced and the whole scene was refreshing.
After about an hour we were back on the road, this time to Canterbury. It was a little tricky finding a parking place but we persevered and eventually found a spot. Canterbury was charming. It had a gorgeous cathedral and a lively town atmosphere among cobblestone walkways.
We wandered around the town darting into different shops and sites along the way. I’m not a big shopper but I couldn’t resist this –
We did spend some time in the Cathedral of Canterbury. A curious person could spend six months in there. The new section is circa 1200, the new section.
Thomas Becket gets a lot of attention in these parts. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until 1170 when *spoiler alert* he was brutally murdered in the cathedral. Things turned sour between Archbishop Becket and King Henry II over power. The King wanted more power over the church and Becket was opposed.
Four knights turned up in Canterbury to take Becket as a prisoner. The Archbishop sought solace in the cathedral and the knights went in after him. Soon after four knights emerged with bits of Becket’s brain on their swords, a gruesome killing.
Here is a great recount of the relationship between King Henry II and Thomas Becket. It’s somewhat tricky to determine who the bad guy is but Becket was canonized in 1173 and is considered a martyr. It does seem that Thomas Becket underwent an incredible personal change once he became Archbishop of Canterbury. You can get into the weeds about it here –
The cathedral itself is amazing so if you find yourself in that part of the world, I highly recommend a visit.
We made our way back to our last night in Rye. Our cuisine for the evening was local fish & chips from Marino’s Fish Bar. American friends, chips here are french fries and our chips are called crisps, either way a potato or two get sacrificed.
Next stop, London.