I'll add the first few photographs now and continue as I have time. A blog can only touch the surface of things - which is probably just as well otherwise we would be reading all day. My longterm plan is to print the photos out and also print out the diary I kept during the trip. It'll go into an album - I mean, a real one with pages, the old fashioned type. It will then be either treasured or ignored forever by us and our kids.
It has been fun looking at the photos for the early part of the trip. Even then, there was such a lot of variety. The whole trip was full of variety, in fact. One thing that always pleases me about England is how quickly it changes. The geological map of the British Isles always reminds me of one of those Spanish scrambled egg omlettes, with lots and lots of different colours to represent all the different sorts of rock.
Because of this the character of the landscape can change very quickly, often within a few miles. It gives you the feeling you're getting more travelling for your money.
The photo above sums up the semi industrial character of the route out of Gravesend. On one side it was all warehouses and light industry, often with curious objects to be seen, such as the great big grinning head in the yard below. On the other side of the road was a lovely little canal full of wildlife and lined with flowering elder and roses.
Needless to say it is far better to explore this type of countryside under your own steam - cycling, walking, horseback.... only then can you appreciate what you are seeing. Like chewing your food properly - you appreciate it far more than if you just gulp it down.
We caught the market at Faversham, which has lots of interesting history, including a church full of wonderful monuments. Here's an Elizabethan tomb which has a life sized effigy; it did look as if he had just laid down for a bit of a rest.
In Faversham boatyard, several Thames barges are moored, and one is under repair. It's a funny place, the boatyard. It seems to have been done up in the hope of attracting light industrial units and perhaps offices, but, probably because of the recession, there's very little there and it is almost deserted.
Consequently, it's a strange mixture of atmospheric weirdness and workaday bustle. We chatted with a very pleasant guy who lived on one of the barges. In exchange for the accommmodation, he did maintenance work. We left him becalmed in the mud.
On to Canterbury, where we stayed at the Cathedral Lodgings actually inside the precinct. We strolled around and admired Rowan Williams' fine residence. The lodgings were about 10 years old, simple and comfortable and inexpensive, and I was mightily impressed by this delightful library for the benefit of the guests. Free internet and newspapers, and all the theological books you could wish for.