Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
582Trip End Ongoing
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After much discussion with Lucy, we decided that Saturday would be the day. After getting there, we dived in. First up was the Warrior. At the time, it was the largest iron hulled steam ship in the world. The reason it was built so big, is that the Frogs had recently built a big one, the Poms being Poms, the forerunner to the Sepps, decided that they had to build a bigger one. So they did. It was launched in 1860, and off it went. Within ten years, it was obsolete though. Good onya Poms !!! It was stripped and used as storage, as nobody wanted it for scrap. It sat there gathering crustaceans until the 1979, before restoration took place. And this is now how it is. Restored.
We followed the crowds and ended up at the Mary Rose. Realistically, it's half a ship as the the half that is missing, was eaten away by seaworms. Also, you can't get to close as it is being sprayed in a wax based solvent to protect it, and you are behind some perspex screens. It is no Vasa, but it is worth going to see the world oldest sailing ship. Historically, nobody really knows why it sank whilst on it's way to fight the French. Maybe through instability, maybe through shoddy captainship, we will never know. Still, I was happy that I had seen it.
I knew a little about Nelson, before we arrived, but I didn't realise his ship, the Victory was in dry dock here. It's quite amazing seeing a ship from the 18th century, restored, just sitting there. Walking around was nice and relaxing. Up on the deck, was a plaque stating that this was the place where Nelson fell !!! News to me. He was dragged downstairs and left to die against the ship. This man was hard, he didn't need a fucking bed, a wooden hull and floor was all this man needed. I think the poms have become soft since Nelson died.
The Mary Rose museum was calling us. In we went. There was some interesting things to see. Gold coins, the original bell, some bows and cannons. It was ok, I have seen worse, but it was getting late, and it was time to say goodbye to Portsmouth
I have this mate at work called Iain, and he never shuts up about a Roman Villa in Bignor. To put myself out of my misery, and as it was on the way home, we decided to hit it. The surrounding countryside was lush, and Lucy wished she had brought a picknik. Wine would have been better. Paid up, and entered. The signs state that this was discovered by a local farmer in 1811 and has been a tourist attraction since. The people who ran it gave us some excellent info, and before we hit the site, we swapped Roman sites we had visited. They were very impressed that we had been to Labya !!! They were even more so when we told them that we were thinking of Algeria shortly, but that will be a story for you all in the future. The mosaics on the floor were very good. There were numerous to see, and amazingly for the time, the restorer built roofs over them to protect them. Just like Tunisia, you walked on the crappy ones and looked over the good ones. Iain was right. It was definetly worth going.
Around the corner is Fishbourne Palace. Another site with Roman mosaics. I tried to convince Lucy that we should go, but she wasn't up for it. We took off. Not far into it, the Golf decided to squeal like a pig everytime we went around a corner. Then the steering felt funny. I decided to pull over. There was oil everywhere, so I knew the poor Golf was going nowhere. We rang roadside recovery and after 45 minutes, a guy arrived. He checked it out and said that the car was going nowhere. He reckoned that we had blown the steering rack ??? As we were about 60 miles from our place, and my garage was about 90 miles, we decided to do the 90 mile trip with the Golf on the back of the truck. The towey dropped it off, and we were left to fend for ourselves and to get back home via the train. It had been a fun day out, except the ending, but at least we got to travel in a different way. I am just not looking forward to the bill !!!