Laura Valis Vargas

The Very First Fjord Ramble

Early on a Sunday morning in June, a group of enthusiastic Fjordians met at London Victoria at the start of a long day. We caught an early train to Eastbourne to meet Mark Curtis, his son, and Beatrice (their lovely English bull terrier). At the station we meet the rest of the Fjordians that drove from London – so at the outset of the walk, there were nine of us.

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Mark and the Fjord London Culture Team had kindly organised the walk, which was the inaugural walk for the Fjord Ramble™ Club. The idea is that it’s a bit like a Fjord Rumble™, except that you do it whilst walking through glorious countryside, which we all agreed seemed like a great idea!

The plan was to start at Eastbourne, walk along the coastal path to Birling Gap where we planned to have lunch, before returning along a coastal route to Eastbourne. The weather forecast looked fabulous for the day ahead, and Mark had assured us that the countryside was already looking lush and beautiful.

Ramble2

Around 11:30 we started the walk. Mark pointed out that most of the house wall fences are constructed with a local stone, flint.  A lively discussion followed on from that about how building with natural elements from the local environment can give a very unique character to a town.  We embarked on our hike, the goal being to reach the cliffs by the ocean.

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Whilst navigating the grassy paths and keeping out of the way of the cows, we learned a bit about the history of the fields along the coast-line. They were used during the Second World War as runways because they are really close to the beach.

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We then reached the beach and had a lovely view of the cliffs. We took a break for a very English lunch – Jacket Potatoes. Fjordian Paul, his wife and his lovely child met us there to walk along the cliffs. From there we headed inland towards Eastbourne, and by this point, people were starting to feel the soreness in their feet. So we took the short cut back in town, so that we would be in time to get the train back to London.

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We ended the walk (17 miles or 23 km) at a pub, where we talked a lot about dog breeds – because Beatrice had been getting a lot of exercise during the week, to get in shape after pregnancy. We learned a lot of interesting facts about the local history of the area, but the most important is that we learned about ourselves. The sun, the ocean breeze, the amazing view and the mix of these amazing people made for a great day out!

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That’s me on the left!

Thank you to Fanus Wallace and Daniela Ivanova for the photography.

Laura Valis Vargas

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