|We had a really fun day today. We met up with our tour group, tour director and bus driver at 7.45am. Annemarie is our tour director and Joe is our driver. We love Annemarie and Joe is a very quiet Irishman. There seems to be a good mix of Aussies, Americans and a few Canadians. So far it seems like a really good group of people. Hopefully we will still think the same after 3 weeks with them all!
We left London and drove out through the County of Kent we stopped at Canterbury and saw the Canterbury Cathedral. It was so beautiful although the main section was closed for university graduation ceremonies. The sections we could see were quite spectacular and the beautiful music accompanying the graduation ceremony was a nice addition. The town of Canterbury has so many cobbled streets and little shops. We had a nice lunch and then met with the group again to head to Hastings.
Hastings is a small seaside town and we only stopped for about 10 minutes for refreshments and a comfort stop. After Hastings it was on to Brighton and to have a tour of the Brighton Pavilion. The tour is really well organised with individual handsets for each person where you dial in the number of the room you are in and hear the commentary about it. It also has pictures with further information regarding King Henry IV and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who had lived there. We all enjoyed the tour so much. It had been so sunny when we left the coach for the tour of the Pavilion and when we came out it was raining. Got to love this English weather. Needless to say we will not be leaving the coach without the umbrella ever again!
We are convinced that the tour company pumps sleep inducing vapour into the air conditioning system. We seem to fall asleep every time the bus starts moving! I might have to get some No Doze so we don't miss too much of the scenery....I must add that I don't think we were alone in doing this - Annemarie told us the bus was very quiet at one point with most people having a nap!
We drove a short distance to our hotel - the Hilton Brighton Metropole. Michael and I won the room lotto and we have views of the old pier which is slowly crumbling into the ocean, the water and the "beach". Mum and Dad are just across the hallway.
Tonight we had dinner in the hotel with our tour group and it was a really great buffet and the dessert was worth the extra calories! Unfortunately only about 8,000 steps today.