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Focus on the Journey, Not the Destination

May 12, 2011

Instead of driving 3 hours to see the “white cliffs of Dover” which was made famous by a WWII song by Vera Lynn, six of us drove along the south-eastern coastline in search of the lesser known “white cliffs of Beachy Head.” After a small sidetrack petting and photographing some baby sheep (are we tourists or what?) we reached our destination. The cliffs did not disappoint! Beautiful white cliffs by the ocean stretching as far as the eye can see. What a contrast to Sudbury’s blackened rocks! We had a nice hike up a large hill where I couldn’t refuse buying a white chocolate ice cream from the lighthouse. After some more hiking we stopped for some lunch. A pint of beer is never too far away.

After lunch we drove along the coast to Eastbourne. At first this city seemed very much like Brighton. A pebbled beach, beautiful hotels on the water, and a pier. Then we noticed something odd. They only people visiting Eastbourne on this fine spring day were either school children or senior citizens. The pier even had a kiosk specializing in candy, prunes, and apricots. I guess they had their bases covered. The arcade on the pier had games targeted at kids and gambling games targeted at seniors. Eastbourne is truly a city for the young and the young at heart. Apparently it’s also a great place for snails – yuk!

Before we made our way home we found a castle in the ‘points of interest’ on the GPS. Since we had told it originally to avoid highways so that we would make our way along the coastline our travels to the castle were very scenic. So scenic that the roads reduced to the width of a one lane-way yet was still considered a two-way road. We had a great time talking and joking in the car. Driving along the winding roads watching rural life out the window was quite relaxing until we turned the corner of a particularly winding road to meet a small transport truck barreling in our direction. The brakes slammed. Everyone screamed. The truck driver laughed. And then we laughed, nervously. Close call! Finally upon reaching the GPS navigated spot to the castle we were greeted by a sign saying “private property – this is not the castle.” I guess we weren’t the first people to follow technology on blind faith. Using the old-fashioned method – looking at signs – we found the castle at 5:02 pm to be told that admission to the grounds closed at 5:00 pm even though technically the grounds didn’t close until 6:00 pm! We left with a brochure with a picture of the castle. It’s the journey, not the destination they say and this time it turned out to be true.

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