|We had another night in Paris before catching the Eurostar to England. We and a hotel at the other end ot the same street we had stayed in, a few weeks before, but you’d think you were in a different world!
Went and sat outside a little bar around the corner from our hotel and had a very interesting time peoplewatching. I've never seen such a diverse area anywhere.
The street had lots of large fruit and veg shops and halal butcheries and lots of bars and restaurants so people were coming to shop, eat or just passing through. African women in all their beautiful bright coloured dresses and lovely hairstyles, Jewish men with their very interestingly designed facial hair, muslims, asians, Indian men with turbans and their ladies in national dress, beautifully dressed chic french ladies, beggars, business men. and as it was an area of dense housing in the apartments above, lots of kids. It was quite amazing.....and after a couple of hours and several drinks each, ended up with a bill of just 13 Euros. ! What cheap entertainment.,! Loved it.
We arrived at an international train station near Gravesend where we were to stay for 2 nights prior to our cruise. People had said to us “why are you staying there!!” as though it was the end of the earth, but we actually enjoyed our time there. We had a great spot for our B & B which was overlooking the Thames River; we even lay in bed watching our cruise ship arrive to the port oposite.
Also, the olympic torch was coming through town that day, so we caught all the associated excitement. Gravesend also boasts the largest Sikh Temple in England. It wasn’t as grandoise inside as I imagined it might be, but there was a bit of pagentry going on there to co-incide with the running of the torch.
We watched George Clooneys pleasure boat come in. I was standing next to an old chap and his dog Mick and the old boy said. “ In my 88 years I would never have even earned as much to fill the tank on that thing”
AND…. Gravesend is where Pocahontas is buried. She married an englishman in Virginia and he bought her to England to see the King and even though she was sick with TB, they went to return to America but she died before they even left the Thames river. That was in 1617 and she was just 22.
So…..Gravesend…..full of surprises.