Friday, 20 September 2013

MSA Euroclassic 2013

As mentioned in a previous post, and despite the trauma of poor Hubert, the three of us headed off towards the start of the MSA Euroclassic which was due to start at Dover Castle on the 7th September. This was also our son Nicholas' 28th birthday and as he is a history graduate what better place to celebrate than a castle! I have whizzed by the castle on our previous forays abroad but have never had the time to visit as we had to catch a ferry. This time a visit was part of the event and we had a lovely sunny but blustery day to take a look.

This was the steed of choice, a 1962 Jaguar Mk II which proved to be very reliable throughout the trip and was very capable of carrying three adults, luggage and spares.
Dover Castle sits high above the town of Dover on a hill that has been occupied probably since the Iron Age, but definitely since the Roman invasion of AD 43. When you look over the castle walls you can see why!
However the best part for me was inside the Great Tower which was built by Henry II in the 1180's. The rooms inside the Great Tower have recently been decorated to give the impression of what they may have looked like when the castle was new in the 12th century. There was a television programme a few years ago showing how they went about this which I found very interesting and it was nice to have the chance to see it in the flesh.
This is a view of part of the kitchens on the ground floor with the boiling hearth at the back.
Another view of the kitchen. The amazing thing was the fact that you could hear people talking and hear them chopping food, all the noises of a working kitchen while you walked around.
There were lots of spiral staircases to climb! On the next floor was a large chamber which looked stunning.
These murals were all around the upper edge of the walls. On the same floor was another room set out as if for a banquet.
On the next floor was the king's hall and chamber. Sadly we could only poke our heads around the door of the king's chamber as it was shrouded in plastic sheeting in preparation for some conservation work due to start on the ceiling. However we could enjoy the magnificent hall and as all the furniture is reproduction/replica you could sit on it too!
Here are just a couple more photos from around the site.
Unfortunately our time ran out and we had to leave Dover Castle and catch the ferry to Calais. I really enjoyed my visit and would definitely try to go back another time and see the things we missed like the wartime tunnels. You really do need a whole day to see everything there.
To be continued...........

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