Saturday, 1 August 2015

5 days in Ramsgate, Kent with lovely people!

A last minute booking at a lovely 4 bedroom traditional house on three floors, two minutes walk from the seafront, booked through Airbnb, with busy Claire, our host in the midst of refurbishing her new acquisition of three flats in the building next door.

Happy people! Gran (hiding), Brian, Jackie, Caroline and Charles
We’ve got guest writers Charles (red writing) and Caroline (blue writing) (Jackie’s niece and nephew) below and with Gran (Pauline, Jackie’s mum) we packed every space in the car and the five of us headed off in the car to negotiate the M25 London Orbital motorway, picking up C&C on the way, over the Dartford Crossing bridge (don’t forget to register and pay on-line to avoid a fine, there’s no cash payment at the crossing anymore!) and down the M2 to the end of England in that ‘hard to get at’ place beyond London. We avoided the M20 ‘car park’ where ‘Operation Stack’ (queuing lorries waiting to cross through the Channel Tunnel due to the immigrant crisis at Calais) was still in progress and arrived at historic Ramsgate, steeped in the history of previous Kings and Queens and fortifications to prevent many threatened invasions from various European nations over the years.

Defending our sand fort against the incoming tide
It was a fabulous family holiday where we did stuff that families do on holiday: sit on the beach, swim in the sea, build sand castles (sand forts actually!), bury someone in the sand (me actually), as well as go out on a boat ride to see seals, visit the old Hornby/Scalextric/Triang factory, now a museum, visit a shell grotto, see a Viking ship, go ‘rock-pooling’, walk along a rocky beach beneath huge chalk cliffs with bits falling off, whilst warily watching the incoming tide, visited a wildlife park full of native British animals, walk along the clifftop, do a bit of scrambling – oh, and eat lots of ice cream and fish and chips by the sea and sand (plus evening wine for the grown ups!). Exhausting? Yes, but great fun!

20 minutes later last to leave Caroline abandons the fort
30th July 2015 Ramsgate Kent England guest writer:  Charles Kent.

It’s the last day now and I’m sitting here in a rather dejected fashion to the sounds of muffled curses and sucking noises as Uncle Brian prepares the pastry for the quiche.  We’d been here since Sunday afternoon when a rather talkative landlady shooed us in from the rain and wind. On the first day I had to indulge my inner anorak and visit the Hornby centre, I also fancy that Brian was in the grips of nostalgia as he wondered around with a shine in his eyes. Some of the large scale dioramas were rather amazing especially the world war two example. This apparently hit a raw nerve with Brian as in the day (sigh) his brother had removed a display of planes from the ceiling and replaced them with atoms; all nod sympathetically as our eyes glaze over. Over the next few days the most notable things were the visit to the RAF museum and the construction of a sand fort on the beach; another of the aunt and uncles hare-brained ideas…

The old Hornby/Scalextric/Triang factory
Hi, Caroline speaking.

I am only going to talk about the seals/Rib Request. At first I was a bit apprehensive because I have to admit I am a bit scared of the sea, but I put aside my fears and boarded the speedboat to view the seals at the other end. It turns out I really enjoyed it and got over my phobia of the sea (I also snapped a few good photos and videos). There were 2 different kinds of seals: the grey seal and the common seal (the guy said that some of the seals came from Scotland but that they didn’t wear kilts!! Ha Ha!)
Goodbye   J   J  J  J  J      - These J's were meant to be little smiley face emoticons, but they didn't come out! 
Left briefly alone in the house Charles takes 100 photos of himself on Jackies ipad

Inside the shell grotto at Margate. There's 4.5 million shells fixed to the walls of the subterrainean tunnels hollowed out of the chalk rock. Discovered in the 1830's, no one knows who built it, when or for what purpose
On the rib, ready for our seal outing
On our way out, in amongst the Ramsgate yacht race
On our way out enjoying the speed and the surf. Auntie Jackie, Uncle Brian, Caroline, Charles and Gran
This is what we came for, seals lazing on the banks. According to our guide, this area used to be a top secret naval base in the First World War and has the remains of the worlds first 'roll on roll off' car ferry terminal, used to get supplies to the troops in Northern France
This chap, with a head the shape of a labrador hasn't spotted the intruder seal swimming towards him yet!
Is this the face of someone enjoying themselves or what!
And what about Mr. Cool here?
Uncle Brian carries everything!
Rock-pooling on the beach (actually, posing at this particular moment!)
A bit of scrambling, watched by Gran
Not as scary as it looks (honest!)
Uncle Brian gets buried in the sand!
Gran doesn't seem overly concerned though
No beach activity is complete without a sand motor boat!
Fish and chips by the sea!
And the seagulls got their share of the left overs
Oh dear, Charles seems to have got his arm buried in the sand. Who did that I wonder!
Walking round the wildlife park
Lunch with chickens in the wildlife park
Nothing need be said!

At the Viking Ship. It was on this day that I managed to lose my wedding ring, the only sad thing in an otherwise fabulous break

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