Visit Rochester by Mouse
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Rochester, on the Medway River in Kent, is 31 miles southeast of London, and 32 miles west northwest of Canterbury. It has a beautiful and historic cathedral (web site), a castle, and a picturesque main street with Victorian lamps. In addition, and a big plus for Ron, Rochester is full of links to Charles Dickens and to several of his novels. Indeed, we cannot do better on its ties to Dickens than to quote from the Wikipedia article in the Rochester link. "The town was for many years the favourite of Charles Dickens who lived nearby at Gad's Hill, Higham, and who based many of his novels in the area. Descriptions of the town appear in Pickwick Papers , Great Expectations and lightly fictionalised as Cloisterham in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Restoration house located on Crow Lane was the model for the house of Miss Haversham's (from Great Expectations) house.
 
We visited the cathedral and walked around the beautiful cloister.  Cathedral visits do put one in touch with past historic events.  This cathedral had its origins in 604 AD when Ethelbert, King of Kent, built the first structure that now exists as an outline inside the present cathedral.  And there were a couple of placques on walls that harkened back to battles fought in the creation of the British  Empire:  the Punjab campaign of 1848-49, and the Indian Mutiny at Chilianwala; and the Khartoum, Sudan and Egyptian campaigns.
 
Afterwards we  visited the tourist office, went into the Rochester Museum a wing of which was devoted to Charles Dickens, and then ambled down the main street looking for those homes that Dickens used in his novels, took photos and then went on to look for a campground outside a nearby town, Faversham.  Could it be the namesake for the cruel, demented Miss Havisham in Great Expectations?  All in all,it was a very pleasant afternoon, especially for Ron who loves Dickens novels.
 
We stayed in a nearby campground in cherry season with many cherry trees growing among the campers.  The cherries were delicious, picked right off the trees.  Apparantly we were allowed to.  Not that we actually asked permission.  The entrance to the campground had a sign that illustrated pretty well that British English is similar to, but not quite the same as American English.  We were amused to read in red letters on a white background the warning, "CAUTION, this yard is alarmed after working hours" .   We guessed that perhaps the yard is afraid of being left alone.  Next to the campground was a very handsome farm house built in 1547.
To photos of:  Rochester   Cathedral   Castle and other photos    Slideshow      Letter
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