ewein2412: (e Wein)
[personal profile] ewein2412

It’s been a couple of weeks since our trip to Dorset, and I am a lame blogger. So here’s kind of a photo essay to give you a taste of the highlights.

The trip was Sara’s idea. Apparently she is a dinosaur fanatic and has always wanted to see the Jurassic Coast. The Jurassic Coast, FYI, is a World Heritage Site of 95 miles’ worth of coastline in southern England boasting an amazing amount of geological cross sections and fossil remains. It’s been noted by geologists and palaeontologists for about 200 years. This was not a very organized holiday for us (like we are ever organized, um), and we planned it very quickly, and it was great.

Day 1

West Bay

This beach, at West Bay, was absolutely the most painful and difficult beach I have ever attempted to walk on. All pebbles, they were exactly too small to hold your weight but too big to count as sand. Yet the hardy Brits were sunbathing and splashing merrily. We climbed to the top of that cliff in the distance and when we got back down, Sara and I were like, NO WAY are we walking across the beach into town. We set off through the parking lot.

This is the view from the top of the cliff in the previous picture!

Day 2

I have no pictures of Clouds Hill, the tiny home of TE Lawrence (ie, Lawrence of Arabia), but it was wonderful. In the absolute middle of nowhere, very minimalistic and masculine – bedroom/library, bathroom and music room under the eaves (oh, and also the cold room, which was lined with aluminum foil and used as a guest room) – I can’t remember a kitchen. I think he cooked over a fire in the bedroom. The bathroom was only installed in the last couple of years that he lived there, previous to which he would hand his guests a shovel and tell them to go find a good place in the woods. The list of literary visitors he entertained there was pretty phenomenal, including Thomas Hardy and George Bernard Shaw.

Tim said to me, “I can see you living here,” and I said, “Me too,” and the guide said, “It’s a little small for a family.” And I said, “No, he means just me. I would live here by myself.” And the guide said, “Oh dear, have I stumbled across a domestic dispute?”

We laughed. I tried to explain: “No, it is just a perfect Tiny-Little-House-of-Writing just for me” – WHAT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND? He then told us that you can buy little Dorset shepherd’s huts and take them to London and set them up in your back garden. I was like… WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT. I want my writing hut in the middle of a trackless forest like this one.


We moved on to Lulworth Cove, prompting many recitations of Rupert Brooke and Edna St. Vincent Millay (it was very difficult for me to walk to Durdle Door without both poems playing in a continuous loop in my brain).

We walked from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door and back along the cliff path, which was very beautiful. It was a stunning and warm day but fortunately some thoughtful and enterprising person had hauled an ice cream van down the cliff path via tractor, where they were doing a roaring business in ice cream, Dorset tea, dog snacks and selfie sticks.

Durdle Door

Beach at the back side of Durdle Door. The flat platform in the upper right quadrant of the photo is the roof of a World War II anti-aircraft pillbox - this one

On the beach behind Durdle Door

Chalk cliffs near Durdle Door

We stopped on the way home to check out Chesil Beach, which is a barrier island 18 miles long and not very wide, made entirely of pebbles.

“Chesil” comes from the Old English work for “gravel” or “shingle.” This was actually a lot easier to walk on than the tiny pebbles of West Bay. It is strange and beautiful and atmospheric.

Chesil Beach

Day 3

Sara requested a visit to the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester, and we had a bit of a rainy day, so we did. We also had an obsessive mooch about among the nettles following a Roman aqueduct, a trip to the iron age hill fort called Maiden Castle, a visit to the Roman Townhouse in Dorchester, and other things -

Yup. We did ’em all, too.

Dorchester Dinosaur Museum. They’re just pretend.

Day 3

Lyme Regis was notable for: Dinosaurland, fossils all over the beach, and about 200 ticks. TICKS IN LYME. Aye right.

Dinosaurland is my absolute FAVORITE kind of museum. It is owned and operated (including selling of tickets) by palaeontologist Steve Davies and it is a FANTASTIC collection of fossils and various other items of Jurassic Coast relevance, including a small natural history collection complete with taxidermized rat “donated” by a cat named Peanut, an amazing collection of British butterflies and moths, a baby fieldmouse pickled in vinegar, a dissected owl pellet, etc. The collection is housed in a former church which allegedly has got a mast from the Mayflower hidden in one of its supporting columns. Sara and I both agreed that Dinosaurland and The Dinosaur Museum, which was much more full of plaster cast dinosaurs and electric lights, ought to swap names.

It is like a real life Pitt Rivers Museum. Live museum creation. Makes me so happy!

“Jurassic Garden” outside Dinosaurland – includes maidenhair fern and gingko trees.

Ammonites on the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. These were EVERYWHERE.

These balanced rocks had nothing to do with the Jurassic Coast, but they were very cool. We knocked one down by accident and couldn’t stand it up again.

Oh look, more World War II debris. Anti-tank blocks (in the event of invasion) in Charmouth, like those we are familiar with in Fife and Northumberland.

Shortmoor in Beaminster, our lovely last minute holiday cottage rental. I found it through an ad in the back of the RSPB magazine.

Date: 2015-08-01 04:47 am (UTC)
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Thank you for the photographs! Especially Lulworth Cove and Chesil Beach.

He then told us that you can buy little Dorset shepherd’s huts and take them to London and set them up in your back garden. I was like… WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.

I agree that that seems entirely to miss the point.

Much squeeing!

Date: 2015-08-02 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ts davis (from livejournal.com)
Terracotta warriors AND Ammonites!!?!?!

I. Would. Keel. Over.

Date: 2015-08-06 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eattheolives.livejournal.com
That "last rubbish bin here" sign is just precious.

Only slightly related, one of the things I didn't expect at all about London was how few and far between the rubbish bins were - it felt like I was constantly hunting for one.

Date: 2015-08-17 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eattheolives.livejournal.com
Ah, I see. I feel like I should have realized, really, but it's hard to remember from a stateside perspective what a traumatic time that was.


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