Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Gale in Portsmouth - Alternate Title: Day 5

Greetings from London,

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, but we ended up having a great night with our Airbnb host Dan in Portsmouth...but more on that shortly.

So on Monday morning, we made our way to Waterloo station to start our trip to Portsmouth. I was excited because I have never been anywhere south of London.

They don't pull any punches in London....lol

I was excited to check out the Mary Rose Museum because of the 16th century artefacts they found when the raised the ship from it watery grave.  It was a good train ride (about and hour and a half) for us to arrive in Portsmouth.

The very tasty chicken, bacon and cucumber sandwich
from M&S (Marks & Spenser!)
When we left London it was a beautiful sunny day, but as we got closer to Portsmouth it got cloudy and very windy. There were gale wind warnings! Now I bought the discounted tickets to the whole Portsmouth Dockyards, which included a few museums, the ability to go on a bunch of really neat ships and the Mary Rose Museum.

Portsmouth Harbour - Low tide

It is really windy!
So on our way to the Mary Rose Museum, we get to go by the HMS Victory. It is dry docked, but still has a full crew and captain! It was Nelson's flagship during the battle of Trafalgar.

Walking towards the ship.

Behind it on the way to the Mary Rose.

So we get to the museum....and man there is quite a bit there. I have lots of pictures of artefacts, but I think the coolest info was about the ship itself. When they raised it out of the water, they needed a method to keep the wood intact, as the water had saturated all the cells of the wood, and if it evaporated the wood would fall apart. So for 30 years (yes 30!) they sprayed the ship with a water/wax solution. This solution would replace just the water and the wax would keep the cell structure when it dried. Preserving the ship for years to come. They finished spraying the ship in 2013, so it now begins its 4 year drying period. It will be ready in 2017.

The black tubes are pushing air to dry the ship.
Once this has been completed, the building that houses the ship, is really neat. It was built with the whole purpose of having all the walls surrounding the ship, get to be removed. So it will be open to view by the public, nothing obstructing the view of it. So cool!

There were museum staff around showing different reproduction artefacts for people to handle and I found one thing I want...it is a Tudor pepper mill...did they have it in the shop...nope. :( Sadness...they used to sell them, so the shop staff recommend looking on eBay!

The Tudor pepper-mill!
After the Mary Rose, we decided to do a Harbour tour. We love these as you always learn cool tidbits. Here we are waiting...it was really windy.

Yes, it was windy!
Despite the wind, we decided to sit above deck as it had the best view. We found out that this was a very busy week for ships in the docks for repair. Plus they were dismantling all the America's Cup buildings from the weekend. What we didn't know is that the dockyards are a fully functioning Ministry of Defence site, so there were some restrictions.

Waiting above deck...all the life boats were here! ;)

in for repairs
 To finish our day we headed back to the HMS Victory for a tour. It was really fascinating on how cramped it was for the men to get in and out of. Also some of the ceilings I needed to duck to get under, I can't imagine how gown men could move around there quickly.

HMS Victory
Me beside the front mast

Jeff beside the front mast
After our tour we decided to get some dinner and then head to our room with Dan our host. We milled about at Gunwarf Quay. It was a typical outlet mall. lol but interesting non the less. We then headed to where we were staying, but could we find how much the bus would cost to get there, nope. It is one of the most disorganized transit I have ever seen. Even the drivers didn't recognize where we needed to go. Thank goodness for google maps. lol

We get off the bus and stock up on some ciders before we get to our room. I have to say that Dan's place was AMAZING! It is one of the old town-houses in Southsea (a part of Portsmouth), the outside is meh, but when we walked in, he had completely remodelled it! It had a wonderful nautical theme throughout and a retro kitchen. We met Dan and his girlfriend Cat. We came in just as they were having dinner. We sat with them as they ate and we talked all night! It was too bad they had to work on Tuesday. It was really great to meet someone our age, with so much in common. The room was great, he even had breakfast available to us in the morning. I would stay there again for sure. He even recommended that we take the train to Chichester from the station near his place. What a time and money saver! I wish we had taken a picture as a group. It is a great memory!

Next Post...off to Singleton!

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