Monday, 15 August 2011

Seaside Interlude

After working so hard lately, it was good to get away yesterday and head to the sea for the day.  We wanted to go and see the Historic Dockyards at Portsmouth and visit the HMS Warrior.  It was a lovely surprise to discover that included in the ticket was a trip on a boat around the harbour to see all the various ships docked there.  The sea was smooth, the sun was shining, what could be better?
There were war ships both old and new....
...this is HMS Warrior.
We weren't too sure what these elderly gentlemen were doing, but were relieved to see later on that they had recruited a full crew on the oars - with just two of them, they were going nowhere!
Just outside the Warrior was a Punch and Judy show - we had to stop and watch as I don't think Stacie had ever seen one before. She thought it hilarious at least!
Everything on the Warrior was sparkling clean, tidy and shiny.  It was fascinating to see how well equipped it was for battle, with cannons both on deck and below, and each deck being well stocked with guns of every size and plenty of cutlasses.  The shiny brass tracks on the deck are for the cannons to be moved around during fighting without gouging holes in the wooden deck.
After a break for fish and chips on the waterfront - something I haven't done for years - we went back to visit the Mary Rose museum. Unfortunately the hull of the Mary Rose, one of Henry VIII's ships, was closed as they are still getting it preserved and renovated as well as building a new museum around it.  We got to see many of the items salvaged from the wreck and Stacie had fun trying on some clothes in the style of that era - here she is in a Henry VIII jacket.  I think we nearly took that one home with us!
Very tired by now, we walked to take a look at the HMS Victory, Admiral Nelson's flagship.  We knew this might be a bit difficult for Stacie to walk around due to steep and narrow stairways so didn't plan on going inside.
However, after asking one of the guides how tricky the stairways were, he told us that we could go and have a look and one of the other guides would let us off if Stacie found it too hard.  Famous last words....we discovered that once on there, you had to follow the set route, and after we had gone down one deck, there were no guides to ask, so we had to keep on going around the whole ship, with the stairs getting steeper and steeper and we ended up in the bowels of the ship which was very claustrophobic with the extremely low ceilings and the lack of light.  Poor Stacie ended up in tears but struggled manfully on until we eventually came across the exit and daylight! 
It was fascinating though - funny how much of it I remembered from a school trip I was taken on many decades ago.
Don't worry about Stacie, after a bit of a sit down in the shade followed by a cherry ice-cream cone back on the sea front, she was fine...and slept in the car the whole way home!


Soggibottom said...

Thanks for showing the pics Caroline. Memories of home :-)
Stacie, well done. Pleased you had such a great day out.
:-) x x x

Sue Doran said...

Cherry ice cream solves all problems! :-) Sounds like you had a great day!

Houseelf said...

Thanks for sharing. We were there not so long ago for the uni open day. Daughter is torn between there and Scarborough. We'll know tomorrow.