Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seeing Sights

Easter Monday, which is a holiday here, we rose early and drove East down the coast, though a fine mist that blurred the edges on everything. The mist lifted as we drove and the sun came outt. It was that first perfect warm sunny day of the year when I always feel as if the sun is filling the dark empty corners of my mind. We drove as far as Birling Gap, which is a notch in the cliffs where the Coast Guard once kept watch for smugglers and where you can now buy coffee, cream teas, and spend the night. We got out to walk on the cliffs. We used to walk on the downs when we lived here a long time ago, but we couldn’t find the place where we walked. There were a number of crowded new parks along the way and we think it may have been incorporated into them.

After hanging about the coast for a while, we meandered inland along tiny roads, eventually ending in Lewes, where the COG and I worked for a while. We had lunch in a pub by the River Ouse there. Lewes is a lovely bustling old town with a ruined castle. Then we drove back to Brighton and down the coast to the west.

The white horse carved in the hillside, which you see in one picture, dates only from the 1920's. Still rather cool to come across it unexpectedly.

Later in the afternoon, we drove back through Brighton and sent west, toward Portsmouth and Southhampton. We only got as far as Worthing. This direction is much less impressive. In fact, it's rather horrid. Kind of industrial and rough. Worthing was prettier, but we didn't really see it. We just turned around there.

Finally we drove back to Gatwick, returned the rental car and took the train home. I will just say, in a philosophical vein, that the experience of returning a rental car is much different when you aren’t in a hurry to catch a flight somewhere.


Vivi said...

Did a paragraph get dropped? The reference for "much less impressive/horrid" -- I don't think you meant that about the 1920's horse in the hillside (which is indeed very cool).

The Bride said...

Yes, a paragraph mysteriously disappeared. During which I noted that we spent some time in the afternoon going west toward Portsmouth and that is much less wonderful than going East - in fact, horrid.