Dom’s nephew, Emilio, is currently studying political science in Lyon. He decided to hop on a train to come visit us for a weekend.
Since we didn't have much time to visit Dover during our previous trip (where we hiked from Folkestone to Deal
), we decided to bring Emilio to visit the Dover Castle and the WWII Fan Bay Shelter.
Our first stop was the white cliffs of Dover, before hiking up to Fan Bay Deep Shelter.
The shelter is a network of tunnels and accommodations 23 meters below the surface. It was built to house the artillery crew protecting the English Channel during WWII. Our guide was very enthusiastic about the tunnels and seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to share the experience with us. His excitement was contagious, making it a very interesting instructive experience.
Dover's white cliffs are made of chalk which formed from the remains of animals that died and decayed at the bottom of the sea over a million years ago - yep that means the 110m high cliffs of Dover actually used to be at the bottom of the sea! Since the tunnel walls are chalk, there are many names and dates carved into the walls by those living there during the war.
Before heading home, we stopped to visit the medieval Dover Castle which also has tunnels that were used as a war room during WWII. You can even go out to the balcony where Churchill stood to watch the battles taking place in the channel.