Yesterday was our day to explore the town of Broadstairs itself. After a light breakfast at our hotel, and a romp with the Kong on the windy, chilly beach, we all took a taxi into town. (Dave was very emphatic about not walking.)
We got dropped off at the bottom of the high street, where the town meets the water at Viking Bay. There's a wide arc of beach guarded by a line of colorful bathing cabanas -- one sign referred to them as "chalets," which sounds oddly alpine.
We promptly found a pub named after Charles Dickens, who summered in Broadstairs and wrote "David Copperfield" there. In fact the big house on a cliff overlooking the bay where Dickens lived is now known as Bleak House, though apparently the namesake novel is actually set in Hertfordshire.
It was a bit too early to eat again, so we walked through town to the train station, passing some intriguing artwork along the way (the result of a local contest among children to decorate some vacant shopfronts).
Olga found her favorite shop. It was all we could do to keep her out of there. I hope the proprietors appreciate our dedication, because otherwise she would have been doing full-body rolls in the meat case.
We wandered back down to the bay -- Bleak House is the castle-like brown structure at left. There's also a Dickens museum in town, but we didn't go.
Instead we went back to the Dickens pub, where had pints and a sausage sandwich (in my case) and Olga sat on my lap because she was a bit shivery on the chilly pavement.
We finally caught our train at 2 p.m., and I finished the second of my "Blind Date with a Book" novels on the way back to London. Dave read too, as did a pink-haired girl with a nose ring across the aisle -- she was engrossed in a book of Tennyson's poems. (There'll always be an England.)
We got home and Olga promptly fell into a deep, snorey sleep on the couch. She was happy to be back in familiar surroundings -- as were we all!