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England – The first few days

September 11, 2007

I’ve arrived in England safely.  My aunt, uncle and cousin picked me up from the airport and promptly drove me down to Dover.  This was a blessing as my bags were huge and heavy (and thankfully they all arrived 🙂 ). 


When in Dover, we dropped my bags off at the Sandown guesthouse and Martin told us all the places to go see that day as it was heritage weekend and many attractions were free.  We drove to see some of them and then it was down to the beach to meet the swimmers.  We arrived just as they were on their cooldown.  I met Barrie, Freda “The General”, Cliff, plus so many others.  The ushered us to the Hubert House to have breakfast with them, which was great as I was famished.  Here I got to meet even more people.  I think I was most in awe of Megan, the 16 year old who just successfully swam the Channel.  She was just a sweetheart.  I can only imagine the things she will accomplish in her lifetime.


After walking into town twice on Sunday, I decided on Monday that I was going to rent a car to get around.  I didn’t want to be adding 4+ miles of walking to my workouts.  Plus I’m lazy.  After getting a SIM card for the mobile and picking up the rental, I went for my first swim.  Some of the local swimmers took me under their wing.  Paul even kept me company for one of my laps of the harbor.  I just did a quick 1 hour swim.  The rest of the day was for resting and getting my bearings.  Oh wait I did drive out to the grocery store to get some food.


Tuesday morning came very early for me as I didn’t sleep well the previous night due to me fretting over my laptop battery dying and the fact that it didn’t seem to want to charge.  That and I used all of the money that I put on my pay as you go phone.  I was off to a rough techincal start.  But Martin helped me get the proper converter for the plug, I was using a transformer and it wasn’t giving my computer enough juice.  Then I quickly popped down to the corner shop to add more time to my phone.  All was right with the world again. 


I ate my breakfast and headed to the beach.  Again I met up with the local swimmers.  It is always nice to have people looking out for you.  I mistakenly thought the tide was going out and almost lost my flip flops, but the locals saved them for me.  Another godsend as the beach is all rocks and my feet hurt climbing out of the water.  They take pity on me and bring me my shoes as I literally crawl out of the water.   Then I spent the rest of my day exploring Dover castle.  I’ve attached some photos for you all below.  Perhaps me having a lot of free time isn’t such a good thing 🙂


The swimmer statue and Captain Matthew Webb in Dover Harbor – The first Channel Swimmer in August 1875

Swimmer StatusCaptain Matthew Webb

Michelle and the Captain:

Michelle and the Captain

Dover Harbor, The Channel and some BIG ferry boats (anyone for a game of Frogger?)

Dover Harbor w/ Ferry

Dover Harbor

Dover Harbor Ferries

Pictures from Dover Castle – The Castle, The White Cliffs:

Dover CastleThe White Cliffs of Dover

I see London…No wait I SEE FRANCE!!!!! (Look more on the horizon line of the sea, the higher line are the clouds)

St. Mary's Church and France

The toenail polish “The Lifeguard Makes Me Blush”

The Lifeguard Makes Me Blush

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5 Responses to “England – The first few days”

  1. Pat Brown says:

    Hello, Michelle

    Watching every day to see what you are up to (your neck in water, of course)—love you

  2. Caroline says:

    Good to see you arrived safely.

    Say hi to good ole England for me.

    Have fun!

  3. Shanna says:

    Go Michelle Go!!

    I’m so excited for you and proud of you that I’m sitting here with a big ass grin on my face and feeling like I need to pee (I’m thinking that’s a bit of good nervous energy for you (which will hopefully take a bit of it away from you) and not the big glass of water I just drank).

    We’re all behind you cheering – swim hard!

  4. Kristy says:

    hey michelle – we’re all excited for you and cannot wait to follow you on your swim…good luck!!!

  5. Colorado Support says:

    YOU GO KICK ASS!!!!!! Yup for an grandmas and grandpas reading this website I said what everyone else is thinking so CLOSE YOUR EYES.

    There no stopping you, tomorrow the first chance and we are pulling for you! You better paddle, kick, side-stroke (my favorite), and what ever else you need to F#$king do to make it France. Use my motto, when in doubt survival stroke (it goes slower, but still a stroke).

    America is cheering and we want you to do great. Here is a little inspiration!!!!

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