Friday, 9 April 2010

Over and Dover again

A long time ago, the sea level was nearly 200 meters higher than today. That's right, a really long time, about 75 million years before now. Maybe this is not the first thought that comes to the mind if you think about Dover, but when you stand on the front deck in the first morning light, teacup in one hand, camera in the other, the chalk coast gleaming like white paint - well then you have time to ponder these things.
The famous cliffs grow bigger and bigger, as a tiny boat goes alongside to bring the harbour pilot on board. The cruise terminal awaits us, while on FRAM everybody is extra busy; passports have to be ready for immigration, transfers have to be arranged, luggage has to be stored away - it's the end of the trip! This week really went past in a jiffy, so many places, so many countries. So it's time to say good-bye and to say hello at the same time, because our first new guests are already in town, waiting to be allowed to board. That's how it goes: An end is a beginning, every good-bye is a welcome in disguise.
Some of us are well away from the changeover activities, instead they take a ride to Canterbury, arena for Chaucer's classic Canterbury tales and of course the site of the most famous Cathedral, domicile of the leader of the Church of England. After an extensive church visit and a stroll through the busy town, they return to Dovers passenger terminal and join the new group just in time to take part in the welcome and the mandatory drill. So, we are good to go north, after having visited so many locations that have experienced a Viking influence we are heading for a completely different part of Europe - the actual land of the Vikings: Norway.