- JOURNEY TO WEYREGG PART 1 -

Dover to Strasbourg

LINKS to pages in the Journey to Weyregg site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Dover to Strasbourg
2 : Strasbourg to Weyregg

3 : Weyregg to Kork
4 : Kork to Dover
HOME PAGE : AUSTRIA 2009
HOME PAGE : COLIN DAY'S LINKS
HOME PAGE : LIST-O-LINKS FULL INDEX

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Our journey commences at Dover where our tour group and coach embark on the ferry which will take us across the narrow Dover Channel to the port of Calais, seen in the picture (left).

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DOVER is a town and major ferry port in the county of Kent in south-east England. The site of its original settlement lies in the valley of the River Dour, making it an ideal place for a port, sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds.

This led to the silting up of the river mouth by the action of longshore drift; the town was then forced into making artificial breakwaters to keep the port in being. These breakwaters have been extended and adapted so that the port lies almost entirely on reclaimed land.

The castle (seen in the background of the picture), secret tunnels and surrounding land are now owned by English Heritage and the site is a major tourist attraction. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is officially head of the castle.

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The higher land on either side of the valley - the Western Heights and the eastern high point on which Dover Castle stands - has been adapted to perform the function of protection against invaders. The town has gradually extended up the river valley, encompassing several villages in doing so. Little growth is possible along the coast, since the cliffs are on the edge of the sea. The railway, being tunnelled and embanked, skirts the foot of the cliffs.

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CALAIS overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel which is only 34 km (21 miles) wide here. It is the closest French town to England, of which Calais was a territorial possession for several centuries.

The old part of the town, Calais proper (or Calais-Nord), is situated on an artificial island surrounded by canals and harbours. The modern part of the town, St-Pierre, lies to the south and southeast.

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Virtually the entire town was destroyed by heavy bombardments during World War IIso little in Calais pre-dates the war. The Tour de Guet, situated in Calais Nord on the Places d'Armes, is one of the few surviving pre-war buildings.

The German wartime military headquarters, situated south of the train station in a small park, is today open to the public as a war museum.

The town centre is dominated by its distinctive town hall, built in the Flemish Renaissance style (and visible to the right of the picture). Directly in front of the town hall is a cast of the statue The Burghers of Calais ('Les Bourgeois de Calais') by Auguste Rodin.

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Our hotel in Strasbourg (right) offers an opportunity to take a nearby tram into the city if we so wish (below).


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Following an early breakfast at the hotel we prepare to move off on our second leg of the journey to Austria.

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