By the seaside

Hello everyone, and a very happy Monday to you! Today I’m sharing a seaside trip Jon and I made with our friends this past weekend.

A couple weeks ago, our friend Holly asked us if we wanted to come to the seaside with them. I got quite excited, as I’ve not really been seaside here in the UK before, except of course for our visit to the shallow Morecambe Bay last July! Hunstanton is on the east coast in Norfolk, right on the lower lip of The Wash where it opens up into the North Sea.

At around 9:30 on Saturday morning, Holly and Simon arrived in their car, followed by Claire, who Jon and I were riding with. Google decided to take us down bumpy, winding country lanes to cut down on time, and while it was a lovely journey, Claire was more than happy to get back on an actual road! Our journey was about two and a half hours through interchanging clouds, sun and rain, and we arrived at the seafront around noon.

It was much colder than I’d anticipated, and I’d forgotten my scarf and Jon had forgotten his coat in a strange absent-minded moment when our friends arrived to pick us up. I was shivering at first, but after some nice hot chips and a fabulous cappuccino at a seafront chip shop, I was more excited and ready to go down to the water.

The sun shone for a little while and sparkled on the sea. The wind was up and fulmars, Mediterranean gulls, and a host of other seabirds squealed and cried out as they flapped past. Oystercatchers and sandpipers walked along the rocky, shell-encrusted beach while a flock of black seabirds (some kind of scoper, I think) bobbed up and down on the low rolling waves. Bundled up to their ears, folks slowly walked along the surf line as their dogs leaped and played and ran to meet other dogs in a flurry of wagging wet tails.

We slowly zig-zagged across the beach, stopping for pictures and for brief examinations for nice seashells, and Claire and Holly took off their shoes to wade to their ankles. We climbed over the wooden groynes and found piles and piles of shells at the upper ends of them, most of which used to belong to mussels and razorback clams, all nestled on beds of old dried seaweed. Sometimes we came across mermaid purses, which were hard and dry after being hatched out of ages ago. The sun ducked behind new clouds and rain clouds loomed over the horizon as we listened to the white hushing of the surf. As it started to sprinkle, we decided to go have a little fun before going to the cliffs.

994922_10154163207934155_600089479043929330_n67824_10153615858108337_502967854000616723_n DSC_1313 DSC_1314 DSC_1320 DSC_1327 DSC_1328DSC_1333Holly bought a bag of hot sugared donuts, which she shared with us as we walked up to the arcade.  The gulls took sudden interest in us, and they hovered over our heads and chatted at us as though to list all the reasons why Holly should share with them too.

DSC_1340After we failed to win anything at the arcade, we went to a sweets shop and Jon and I picked up some nougat and sticks of rock. I also got some Parma Violets because I haven’t had them in ages!

1506_10153615893403337_3784144285772416900_nI love trying new things, and this soda is one of my favourite “tries”! It’s fresh and floral and sweet.

12795252_10153615893188337_1043391341208468574_nThen we stopped in The Coffee Pot for a bite and a drink. Jon and I both had hot chocolate, and it was divine, especially with how chilly we’d been outside!

12366329_10153615893453337_6535841771526624880_nFrom there we drove down to the cliffs. We wound up at the wrong area, which was by a golf course and had low sandy hills and a long, wild beach, so we turned back and drove to the right carpark. After a short walk along the top of the cliffs, we went down a sandy path and turned left onto the beach, and the striped faces of the cliffs greeted us.

Fulmars were roosting in the upper chalk portion of the cliffs, pairs of them looking down at us, and others hovered near them, looking for places to land. It had gotten a little chillier out as we picked across the jumbles of fallen rock and countless layers of empty razorshells, but the sight was fabulous to behold and I can only imagine how beautiful the cliffs would be under sunny skies.

12805685_10153615859363337_3896228516438163273_n

DSC_0015DSC_0005DSC_0017 11951242_10153615893583337_5218912769152908801_n DSC_0023 11885226_10153615878673337_3860938722894032791_nAfter we found our way back to the cars, we came home. The journey always seems faster when you’re going home, doesn’t it? When Jon and I got into the house, we ordered Indian for dinner and then collapsed, sleeping a good eleven hours after all that walking and salt air!

What’s your favourite seaside memory? 🙂

 

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