Sunday, 7 July 2013

A Day Out in Portsmouth

We have been planning this day out for a while. We wanted to take dd's German exchange student somewhere with a variety of different things to do. We had talked about Cambridge but it's a bit of a drive from us so we settled on Portsmouth. The plan was to visit the Naval Dockyard and HMS Victory (Nelson's ship), potter around the shops in Gunwharf Quays, stop for a bite to eat, wander over to Southsea then back home. We managed to fit everything with a bit of a diversion at the end of the day - more on that later.

We arrived in Portsmouth in the morning and spent at least an hour wondering around HMS Victory, soaking in all the history. Just one look at all the cannons and you could really imagine the noise and confusion when the boat was at full pelt. I even stood where Nelson eventually collapsed - now that's real history.

The ropes were a work of art and the anchor was huge (necessary I suppose for the size of ship). I can highly recommend this as a day out in the south east. While we were on the deck of the boat, I asked one of the guides of the ship had been used as a basis of Pirates of the Caribbean. Although the answer was no, the ship in the opening scenes of Les Miserables was based on HMS Victory. And, not only that, the scenes were filmed in the naval dry dock a hop, skip and a jump away from where we were standing. Now that is an interesting piece of information.

After HMS Victory, we wandered around the Naval Museum then had lunch at Pizza Express overlooking the harbour. The sun was out, glinting on the water, and it felt like we were sitting on the French Riviera. It can't get better than that.

We wandered around the shops after that. Portsmouth is a naval city and Gunwharf Quays is a redeveloped area of the city. It used to be a rundown dockyards but now it is full of shops, restaurants and flats providing jobs and money for the city. I haven't bought new clothes for quite a while but I managed to find 3 dresses, a tshirt and hoodie for very reasonable prices. Two of the dresses were £10 each which is unheard of.

At this point we were all feeling a bit tired but we still had some time to visit the arcades and Southsea beach. We love the 2p machines in the arcade and spent a bit of time there, watched the hovercraft coming in from the Isle of Wight then paddled in the sea. It was a really hot day and the water was a welcome release but the stones on the beach were not.

We have a sleeping dragon as an ornament at home, bought on our travels to Wales, who we call Desdemona. Everytime we visit a beach, we collect a pebble to place next to here as a memory of our travels so Desdemona now has a Southsea pebble to sleep next to. Here are some of our pictures of Portsmouth.

A fantastic day out. Ds wasn't with us as he was away on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition - 3 days hiking in the South Downs. Unfortunately, he was affected by hayfever for the first time ever and his eyes had completely swollen up. He had spent the day following the boots of the girls in front of him as he couldn't see any further - poor thing. We received the call while we were still in Portsmouth so we had a change to the planned end of the day and drove to the campsite (just north of Brighton) to pick him up and bring him home. We've been bathing his eyes (that now look like a bad case of conjunctivitis they were so badly affected by the pollen) and I hope that a good night's sleep will improve them. It was lovely to have him back with us and it's a bonus he's with us for the rest of the weekend.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend wherever you are in the world. I'd love to hear how you spend your weekends.

No comments:

Post a Comment