Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Trip Start Jan 14, 2010
17Trip End Apr 07, 2010
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Where I stayed
The train ride was actually quite lovely! I got off at Fratton since the Gun Wharf train station was out of commission at the moment. This meant that I had to find the bus stop and hitch a ride from there. I made it safe and sound, clearly. From there it was lots of window shopping. While I did manage to get a steal of a skirt for 5 pounds... that was the only purchase I made. After the shopping, I decided it was time for an exciting trip up the Spinnaker Tower
By the time the celebration was over, the shops were closing down. I decided to make my way to my hostel. It was called the Backpacker's Lodge and was located in South Sea. South Sea is a good 30 to 45 minute walk from the Wharf, but it was a wonderful one! I walked through the University of Portsmouth, along the coast, and into the town. After following some lovely directions given to me by a bus driver, I found the hostel! The outside looked frightening, but before I had a chance to back out... someone came to the door. Inside the establishment was very cozy and the staff was amazing! Super considerate and friendly..
Downstairs there was a lounge with a pool table, living room with tv, eating room, and a full on kitchen! My room was an all female room with 2 sets of bunk beds. I had bed number 2... aka on the floor by the door. After getting situation, I packed back up and headed out on another walk. Turns out the hostel was only one block from the beach! On top of that, there was a park and a carnival pier. The pier was rather sad, with only an arcade on it... but still pretty. As I walked, I watched the sunset over the beach. The end of another day. I headed back to the hostel since EVERYTHING in the town closes at 4 on Sundays anyway. Socialized in the lounge downstairs for a bit before heading up to my room. When I got there I met my roomie of the night named Katalina from Germany. Nice girl, but I don't think we'll be BFFs. We both had had really long days so we opted to head to bed after a bit of talking round 8:30. Around 11 another girl snuck in. Not sure where she was from but it wasn't around the area. Katalina left at 530 in the morning to catch a train. The other girl left at 7. I left at 7:30.
At this point I wanted to make my way along the sea front to see all the monuments and the Clarence Pier
First I went aboard the HMS Warrior. It was at this time that my pictures turned more pink on my camera for some reason. Did not like. I did, however, like the boat! It was really cool to see all the decks, cabins, and cannons! The views from the deck were wonderful! From the ship I could see the Spinnaker Tower and the rest of the harbor! After that I managed to make it across the yard to the HMS Victory! It was an old school ship... think Hook, with multiple levels and views to go with it. Each ship took at least an hour for me to get through. The history was fascinating. Nelson was the caption of the Victory... I was actually standing where he was killed. After he died, they soaked him in a tub of brandy to help preserve him till they made shore. Weird. What's even more weird is the joke that one of the workers said - Apparently to mourn his death, the entire crew took to drinking for the night... what one can only imagine to be a "full bodied" brandy
Upon leaving the ship, I made it back in time for the boat tour. It was a 40 minute tour filled by amazingly humorous commentary and lots of views of cruisers and war ships. There was also a place called Spice Island... where sailors use to go get drunk and *ahem* meet ladies of the night. The history emulating from this place was incredible! Every step and statue held a story. Now while, I have the worst memory ever for details, I still love reading each of the placards and listening to the tour guides. The entire place fascinated me! The museums were all that were left on my agenda so I went through each one carefully. In the Rose Marie museum, a lovely older gentleman told me all about how he used to be stationed here and everything that he saw and did. It nearly brought me to tears.... seeing the passion and history he held with him. What a wonderful person... sharing what he knows with me. Apparently he found it humorous that I was attempting to take pictures with the figurines. Well, what can I say. About 5 hours later I emerged from the museum in one peace, filled with pictures and memories.
I made it back on the train with no problem! I think I'm finally getting the hang of it... kinda! Then from Chichester it was back to Pagham on.... you guessed it... a double-decker bus! Oh, that was the only purchase I made. for 1 pound I got a double-decker keychain. Well worth it. :-) PS - bit of trivia... the only triple-decker bus is in Harry Potter. Getting home felt wonderful! As much fun as I had (and I truly had a remarkable time), it was nice to see the family. I was able to meet Michele's sister, whose daughter Lilly is staying with us for the week! I'm excited!
I was worried before going that it would be weird traveling alone. I found that I really loved it. While company can be nice... it was really great being on my own time schedule and seeing everything I wanted to see. Soooo not worried about doing that kind a trip again! Now just gotta plan the next great adventure! Tomorrow... Fishbourne to see the Roman Palace with the family!