13.12.2014 - 17.12.2014 6 °C
Departing and never arriving We have been on the road now for about a week and always departing somewhere to find a new adventure, so we left Taipei imagining the sights and sounds of London and the greeting we would get from Kayleigh on our arrival. Never thinking that our last blog post would be the signal of ultimate disaster we climbed aboard our Asia Airways flight, first destination a quick stopover in Bangkok then to Amsterdam to change planes to KLM into London Heathrow. The flight was long and sleep (when it did come) was brief and uncomfortable, however with each time zone change we told ourselves we were closer to meeting family. Unbeknown to us, our itinerary which had gone before us, signalled an arrival on the 12th December, when in fact we actually left Taipei on the 12th and would arrive on the 13th, so an international search for us was underway on Facebook initiated by Kayleigh after her trip to the airport to greet us was thwarted. Working as Carmen Sandiago she was looking to see whether we had been arrested in the protests in Taipei, or had been whistled off as drug mules in Amsterdam. The Facebook stream was so entertaining to read that when we finally re-surfaced contributors were dissapointed the stream had to end. Anyway, don't expect Kayleigh to volunteer a pick up at Heathrow for anyone else after the dissappointment of our vanishing act.
We have since been on an enjoyable top deck double decker tour trip around London, visited Greenwich and a great dinner night with Brent Sarah, Freda and Ethan. We had an amazing italian meal and lots of laughs and fun with the kids. The walk home in the gentle rain saw us stagger home and colapse into bed. Kayleigh is now suggesting that chain saws are cutting down the rain forrest in her lounge...however we can't agree as we never hear anything :-).
We are currently returning from Margate where we had a 5 degree beach experience along with visiting the Turner Contemporary Gallery. We had spent the day prior with old acquaintances from Waikato Days Pat and Rae Mellsop who now live in Canterbury, so great shops to view and the architecture of Canterbury Cathedral just mind boggling. Dinner at a great old pub concluded our day. Cantabrians visit Cantabrians... after everything being a bit of a blur, the City of Canterbury was very relaxing...don't get me wrong London is amazing but it is a city on speed. The closer we got to Canterbury West the more relaxed we felt. The flat farmland was amazing to find and the gentle train just made you feel like your were being transported somewhere special. That we were. What a stunning place Canterbury is. Pat met us at the station and gave us the speed tour and then we were off to explore. Had lunch with Rae which was great. This little city (called so because they have a cathedral) was stunning and steeped in history. Canterbury tails, Charles Dickens writings, Beany, Beckett and who could forget the cathedral. The buildings made you feel like you had been transported into a Charles Dickens novel with cobbled roads and wonky buildings, and as the evening came with it's christmas lights it was just magical. Before we met the Mellsops at 5 we walked through the cathedral what an amazing place. Its history, it's archetechure, its angles and it's light were all amazing. Maned by staff and volunteers who were very welcoming and yet aware that people may need time to just contemplate. The spaces were great places to think Rae and Pat love living in this georeous place and were amazing hosts telling us all the history and showing us the things they love right down to the little shop with the crooked blue door and of course that amazing Cathedral which diminated the skyscape even more so at night. The evening was completed with bubbles and nibbles and a great night at thhe cutest wee pub callled The Parrot.
Thanks Pat and Rae for showing us such a great time at yours ...please remember you are always welcome at ours