All posts by Donna Long

Helping travelers discover adventurous, authentic experiences in cuisine, cocktails, and countries ~ from beach bars to five-stars

Our Ghostly Experience In Dover, England

Our ghostly experience in Dover, England

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Now, I am not a big believer in the supernatural. Even after this experience I still have reservations and think that sometimes, people make up a fair amount to make a good story. But I will say, after this trip, it has made me stop, pause, and wonder, if just maybe there is something else out there.

To set the stage, Dover has its roots steeped in medieval times dating back as far as the late 1100’s. The magnificent Dover Castle is built on the edge of great white chalk cliffs that seem to almost glow in the sunlight. Dover is most famous for the extensive tunnels that are built into the cliff, some dating back to the Napoleonic and Revolutionary wars but was most heavily used during WWII.

During WWII the tunnels were used as bunkers, officer quarters, strategic operations and hospital for the wounded. Many soldiers died in the surgery wards.

We were on a tour of the tunnels. We had passed through some of the offices, storerooms and communication room when we came to the hospital surgery room. This is where a ghost made its presence known by attempting to inhabit or communicate through our youngest son, Ian.

Ian is not someone who scares easy or is timid. Quite the contrary! He is a typical rough and tumble boy who loves to climb to the very tippy top of trees, explore dark damp caves, meandering tunnels, see what creepy crawly things are under rocks and the such. So when I describe what he was experiencing you can understand my alarm.

Ian started to lean on my and hold my hand. He told me that he was not feeling very good. When I asked him what was wrong, what was he feeling. He said that his stomach was yucky and he felt like he was going to throw up. I bent down to look at him, and he looked so pale it scared me! It was at that moment that he fainted! If I have not been looking down at him I would not have been able to catch him before he hit the floor. That was very alarming! We were in the depths of the tunnels and my son (was 9 years old at the time) was half my height. It was to far to carry him out the way we came, so I had to carry him to the service elevator and take him to the surface by that method.

On the surface, we sat on a bench waiting for my husband and other son to rejoin us while he rested and recouped. After waiting about 20 minutes, we were all together again and Ian was feeling much better and practically back to his old crazy active self.

We decided to walk the medieval castle walls, turrets, cannon alcoves. Before we knew it, our casual walking had turned into running as we were going up one staircase and down another as we made our way down to the dungeons, through the halls, stoping now and then to pretend that we were firing the cannons or shooting arrows through the window at an invading army.
As we were passing through one of the passageways I turned around and took a picture behind me. I had no real reason for doing so, it was just an empty stone passageway. I just wanted a picture of where we had been, I guess.

It was not until we got home and were going through all the pictures that we noticed something particular about that one picture. In the center of the picture there was a blue sphere that was just hanging there in mid air!

At first, we thought that maybe it was dust particles or maybe a reflection or one of the lights. Then we noticed that there were no other dust particles floating around. There was nothing to cause a reflection off the stone walls and you can see a light on the ceiling, it is not blue, but a soft yellow. Very curious indeed! Perhaps one of these days we will be able to go back to Dover and retrace our steps to see if we can capture another mysterious picture.


Driving in England for the first time

The first time that we went to England we were so excited to be going to a different country! It was so thrilling to think of all the new experiences and people that we would meet! The new culinary adventures that we would expose our taste buds to. The massive amounts of history that we would see. For history lovers who grew up in a state in America where 50 years is considered “old”, going to a place that has centuries of history made us almost giddy! We made our travel list, what to pack, what not to pack, found and booked our unique lodging accommodations, picked up some Euros before we left our home state. Thought we had dotted every “I” and crossed every “T”…. key word is “thought”.

The flight was great. There was so much to do on an international flight! There were movies to watch, video games to play, all for free! They even fed you a decent meal! The plane had larger seats with pillows and blankets so you were comfortable, as far as planes go, to sleep. when we landed we were well rested and ready to hit the ground running!

Yea!! We landed! We were all so excited! We collected our luggage and made it through customs with no problems and went to collect our rental car. We had rented a nice mid-sized car that the four of us could fit in comfortably in addition to our luggage.

We were pleased with ourselves for having planned so well and with the car we choose…. until we got inside of it. That is when we realized our first mistake. The steering wheel was on the other side of the car! On top of that, it was a standard! We had not driven a standard since we were in high school!

To say that we were out of our element was an understatement! Not only were we lurching forward in jerky stop and go movements, we were also stalling and trying to restart the car as it lurched forward again just to stall, again! And we had not even gotten out of the parking lot yet!! And the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car for us!  All the mirrors are in the wrong spot! Yup, a bit embarrassing.

Well, we made it out of the parking lot and onto the freeway. It felt like we had just jumped from the frying pan into the fire! Cars were flying past us on the right side instead of the left side of the car, we (really, my husband) had to shift with the left hand instead of the right! Oh the chaos! Our children were hiding their heads mumbling, “we’re gonna die, we’re gonna die!”. After a few miles we (again, my husband) quickly became adjusted and the kids came out from hiding.

Lesson learned! Not only do you need to verify that you do or do not need a visa to visit a country, but you also need to verify what side of the road they drive on! Another a tidbit of advise…. pay close attention to the type of car you are renting, standard or automatic, and that you are comfortable with that driving mode.

Hello world!

We love to travel! Who doesn’t?? We love to explore – everywhere we go, we try the unique and the unusual. We want to go places we have not been, we want to try things we have not experienced yet, we want to have culinary adventures, spelunk in caves, sleep in treehouses and jump out of perfectly good airplanes! I have been told many times that I should be sharing what we are doing and where we are going and the crazy and sometimes fabulous meals we have had. So I decided to do just that! I hope you enjoy our adventures, past, present and future, as much as we have.