United Kingdom
Deal Castle

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    • Day 217

      The real Deal

      October 9, 2020 in England ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      Local bus is a wonderful way to get around the country. The infrequency of many---maybe once every 2 hours---requires creative planning if one is to have a successful day, but the Loop service from Ramsgate to Margate runs 4 hourly and avoids this problem. The bus in the picture is actually a cafe where I lunch in the rain on a bacon roll with fried egg. Margate used to be a byword for tawdry English seaside towns with candy floss and "kiss me quick" hats but connections with artists J.M.W. Turner and Tracey Emin have raised its game. But the gentrification hasn't yet reached Cliftonville on the eastern edge of Margate so I'm happy to record its peeling stucco terraces.

      The sun has returned for the following day and I take a train south to Walmer. From here it's an easy 2-mile walk alongside the shingle to Deal, an altogether more upmarket prospect. Even the beach huts are classy here. Both towns were defended by Henry VIII who built fortresses to resist the threat of a French invasion. In the southward-looking picture of the pier you can just about make out the French coast, but the French never challenged Henry's forts and the view of Cap Gris Nez is as close as I'm going to get to France for a while. The pier was also the subject of invasion fears---from Germany. The Allies bombed it in World War II to prevent Hitler's forces from trying to land, and what you see now is a 1957 reconstruction.
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    Deal Castle

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