I was quite excited about our first “real” trip in England. We have had a timeframe of four and a half day and we had thousands ideas and recommendations. If there only wouldn’t be the weather “the English coast is beautiful also in fall unless it’s not pouring down like crazy”. We survived already the coldest winter ever in Charlotte and as well the hottest summer ever, therefore the English autumn weather shouldn’t be a problem for us. And as backup we choose the Jurassic Coast, if the sea doesn’t invite us for a swim we can still hunt fossils. And when angels travel the sun shines!!
The Jurassic Coast in southern England covers 96 miles of the English Channel coast. It stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in mid-December 2001. This unspoilt stretch of coastline reveals a unique geological portrait of 185 million years of the Earth’s history exposed in dramatic cliffs, secluded caves, coastal stacks and barrier beaches. There yoy can almost walk through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods and another great thing is the huge amount of fossils that have been discovered on the beaches and cliffs.
First thing we did was therefore fossil hunting in Charmounth. we didn’t excavate a dinosaur bone but we found some ammonites and some belemnites and small stones, big stones, sparkling stones, wet stones, granite pebbles, chalk cobbles, sea glass and so on. Our treasure collection grew up immensely! And yes, Leonie went swimming every day: the sun was shining, the wind blowing and the water temperature around 16 degrees, everything’s alright (for her). The afternoon we spent in Lyme Regis a charming sea town with port, beach, shops, restaurants and beach huts. In North Carolina I was fascinated by the lighthouses, here its the beach huts, a small, often brightly colored and lovely decorated, usually wooden box above the high tide mark on more or less popular bathing beaches. They are generally used for changing into and out of swimwear, storing beach accessories and personal belongings and are a shelter from the sun or wind. The truly fancy ones have simple appliances for preparing snacks or hot drinks, a cooler for the adults drinks and are lovely decorated. I love to peer inside, it’s so exciting and tells you a lot about the owner, a bit like peering into a bedroom.
There is no better view than from the cliff tops – and walking is the perfect way to do so. The next day we discovered a stretch afoot – much to the delight of our girls. To hike with pre-teenagers isn’t really relaxing, thanks god that in every bay, as abandoned as it may be, you can find an ice cream or/and fish n chips stall. We visited Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole, the roughness and the colors of this coast section are incredibly beautiful. In the afternoon we visited Corfe Castle a thousand year old royal castle and one of Britain’s most iconic survivor of the English Civil War and finally they demonstrated the function of the resident medieval siege engine with a missile launch, Joelle was excited! It’s great how many volunteers are working for the NationalTrust and I’m impressed with how much passion they explain history to young and old.
On the third day I found finally a beautiful lighthouse on Isle of Portland, a limestone tied peninsula, 4 miles long and 1.7 miles wide. I still love them but shortly after I found beach huts in a tiny bay and I’m sorry dear lighthouses but I love the huts even more… Today it was cloudy and windy (Leonie went still for a swim) and we visited the landmarks rapidly and went afterwards for Fish n Chips to Weymouth. Well fed we went for a final beach walk to Chesil Beach, this 18 miles long tombolo that connected Portland to Abbotsbury and then continuing north-westwards to West Bay near Bridport is the longest one in the UK and shelters Weymouth from the prevailing wind and waves. Walking on soft sand can be very strenuous, Chesil Beach is not made out of sand, it’s made up of pebbles of rounded flint, chert and quartzite. It’s rough, windy and beautiful and it makes your heart happy but walking along the pebble and shingle bank of the Chesil makes your heart thump like a drum too! We slept quite good that night.
As we found out, that Stonehenge is more or less on our way back home, we didn’t hesitate to visit it, something you have to see before you die. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, It consists of a ring of standing stones, each around 4 meters high, 2 meters wide and weighing around 25 tons. The primary monument was built about 5’000 years ago and in each era it was used by different people with different beliefs and thus for different purposes. They do know that it was for some form of religious purposes and they know that animal sacrifices were made there but they don’t really know if it was used for spiritual purposes or for healing. I’m probably the wrong person to write about spiritual energy but nevertheless I could feel the special power on to of Monte Alban in Oaxaca and the quietness on top of the Cathedral Rock in Sedona was special. Unfortunately 12 busses and uncountable cars with all their passengers removed all my remaining spiritual sense. Still impressive how they built it long time ago and fascinating to read about all the theories and speculations. Stonehenge will always remain a mystery but I think you can die relieved without having visited it.