Leg 4: Dublin to Kent

09May10

This leg is one of the only international flights I’ve ever experienced in real life. It was June 23, 1998, and I was on the way to a two-week backpacking adventure with my dad. We crossed over Ireland and landed at Gatwick Airport. As we descended towards the runway, I noticed two things about the English landscape:

  • Cars on the wrong side of the road
  • Rainy weather

Inexplicably, the next fortnight was almost entirely sunny. But there were lots of cars on the wrong side of the road.

The view from the sky…

Wales

The peninsula where the Lib Dems can do quite well

Last week, the Lib Dems won 15 of 55 seats in southwestern England, including the St. Ives riding that’s all the way at Land’s End. That total represents a loss of three over the 2005 election (and two over the numbers at dissolution of parliament). There was also quite a bit of orange on this map of the 2001 election results.

The Tories scored 36 victories in the region last week, which was 11 more seats than the last election. Labour’s vote corroded, and they now hold only four seats in the region (down from eight).

This is what London looks like from the southeast

I also landed safely at Gatwick

When my airplane rolled to a stop and I left the flight simulator, a user-inserted image popped up on the screen. Apparently, someone landed in real life and took a real-life picture of the event. Lucky jerk.

Looking out at County Kent

The more you know…

It’s amazing how you can point to almost any spot on the globe and find that it’s just as fascinating as any other. County Kent, my last destination on this leg, is an example, as Wikipedia always helpfully illustrates:

Kent’s location between London and the continent has led to its being in the front line of several conflicts, including the Battle of Britain during World War II. East Kent was named Hell Fire Corner during the conflict. England has relied on the county’s ports to provide warships through much of the past 800 years; the Cinque Ports in the 12th–14th centuries and Chatham Dockyard in the 16th–20th centuries were of particular importance to the country’s security. France can be seen clearly in fine weather from Folkestone, and the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

Because of its abundance of orchards and hop gardens, Kent is widely known as “The Garden of England” – a name often applied when marketing the county or its produce, although other regions have tried to lay claim to the title.[1][2] Major industries in the north-west of Kent have included cement, papermaking, and aircraft construction, but these are now in decline. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt. South and East Kent rely on tourism and agriculture. Coal mining has also played its part in Kent’s industrial heritage.

Next, on to France.

Advertisements


No Responses Yet to “Leg 4: Dublin to Kent”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: