Chapter Four - Sandwich and the coast

Trip Start Sep 28, 2012
Trip End Oct 14, 2012

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The Olde Shoppe

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yes, my friends, there is a place called Sandwich, and it's named after the 4th. Earl of Sandwich who is purported to have invented the sandwich during a particularly elongated gambling session. So indeed we'll have a ham sandwich in Sandwich.

The town of Sandwich of course predates the brilliant invention of the Earl of Sandwich and was one of the five "Cinque Ports" of South-East England created in 1155 by King Henry II. Due to silting of the River Stour, Sandwich is now two miles from the sea and is no longer a significant port.

Somehow or other our little group gets separated in this small town, considered as one of the best preserved medieval towns in England. Margarita and I wander around and finally land up at the Beach Hut Café (many miles from any beach) on Breezy Corner (no corner, and no breeze). I enjoy a terrific carrot and tomato soup while waiting for the others.

We now continue to the coast of the English Channel at Ramsgate, which we find somewhat depressing. This is a seaside resort that has seen better days and now looks somewhat dilapidated. There are few English seaside resorts that can today compete with cheap airfares to sunny Spain! When there was Hovercraft service to France, this was the main port, but service of this fast ferry was withdrawn with the advent of the Channel Tunnel (The Chunnel).It’s off-season and the beach is entirely deserted. To one side is an abandoned development project obviously planned as luxury seaside condominiums, but now just a vacant lot surrounded by wooden barriers, poignantly covered with paintings depicting better times.     

We continue on by way of Broadstairs and Margate, scene of Mods and Rockers street fights in the 60s. Neither town attracts our interest, and we are back in Lenham by early evening.

Tonight we try Chequers, the local fish and chip shop in the square. It’s owned by a Turkish couple, so we could also have chosen kebabs if we had wished, but we stick to the traditional deep-fried cod and chips. Keep in mind that, unlike in the USA, in England "fries" are “chips” and “chips” are “crisps”.  
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derrick241 on

Rams gate used to be the port for the Hovercraft, it got you to France in next to no time, you always had a seat on it, compulsory, but you couldnt go outside, they had waiting staff on there for everything, they even had a 3 course meal, but that was stopped as people never had time to eat it all

Margate was the scene for many Mods and rockers fights, they used to happen all along the essex coast in the 60's, early 70's

Margate used to be a great sea side town, now due to the lousy weather people go to Spain

Cesar Barroso on

An interesting post about uninteresting places.
Sandwich reminds me of an encounter that I had a few days ago with an American young man that had just come back from Europe: "I loved theirs sandwiches. I would come back to Europe now only for their sandwiches."
Well, I think the French would say about his comments: "He probably did not go to our country".

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