Holiday: Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight – Day 4

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Not ideal! πŸ€”

Hello All! Yes, it’s Monday and the forecast is rain!! πŸ™„ – and no, I’m definitely not going to comment on last night’s soccer result! There’s an air of gloom around the hotel this morning! 😟

We’re now four days into our break – here’s what you’ve missed…

Blog – Day 1
Blog – Day 2
Blog – Day 3

Camera Roll

“Yo-Ho-Hoβœ”
“Bottle of Rum” βœ”

We became a couple of ‘Jolly Jack Tars’ today, as for our main attraction, we’re visiting the Historic Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth. There’s a lot to see here, with various ticket options that give you access to all/some/just a few attractions – with a price to match. The last time we were both here was way back in July 2009! (although I’d been more recently with my ex-Trainer buddies in July 2018).

Having been so many times before, there was always the law of diminishing returns, but we were both looking forward to the Mary Rose Exhibition that we’d been told had a lot of new exhibits. Outside, the ‘less-than-exciting’ weather limited us a bit, given that it was forecast to deteriorate just after lunch – but it was good to see what parts of the Dockyard had changed. πŸ˜‰

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Already a queue at 10.50am!
Scanned… Checked… Searched… We’re in!! πŸ˜‰

11.00am: It seems everywhere is all about ‘pre-booking’ and ‘timed tickets’ these days, but we were soon inside and bang on time for our 11 o’clock entry.

HMS Warrior

Well restored, but mind the steep stairs!

11.15am: Our first stop was HMS Warrior, difficult to miss for all the right reasons – an imposing vessel, armed to the teeth.

HMS Warrior is 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–1861…

…complete with its ‘new-tech’ ironclad outer hull. In its day, it was the largest warship in the world and part of 45 ‘iron hulls’ built for the Royal Navy between 1861 and 1877.

It’s been at the Dockyard since the late 1980s and considering it was originally destined for the scrapyard, it’s been exceptionally well restored.

HMS Victory

“Who moved my Mast, it’s mizzen!”

After last night’s soccer result, it didn’t feel appropriate to enjoying anything associated with ‘victory’ – so we gave it a miss. πŸ€”. There was quite a long queue too – apart from that, the middle mast was mizzen – and I’m a completist by nature!!! 😁

Mary Rose

11.15am: For us, this is what we’d been looking forward to. When we first came here, just after the dinosaurs were wiped out, the Mary Rose Exhibition was nothing more than the Ship in a temporary enclosure being constantly sprayed with preservatives. It wasn’t much to look at, but at the time, we still marvelled (like much of the world) at how they’d recovered the Ship at all! πŸ‘

The Mary Rose

Fast forward (more than) a few years, and a state-of-the-art Exhibition space now awaits visitors. Not only can you now view the ship across three floors, but there’s also a very comprehensive artefacts’ exhibition too!

…and in recent years they’ve even been analysing the DNA of some of the crew’s bones. This research is eerily brought to life with artists’ impressions of their appearance, together with a comprehensive summary of their lifestyle until that fateful day in the Solent. They even know what the Ship’s dog looked like, its age and likely breed! Incredible!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘

And if that’s not enough, ‘opening soon’ will be a fully interactive, immersive, 3D ‘Mary Rose Experience’. Best bring your swimming trunks!!! 😍

Gunwharf Quays

“I Smell a Bargain!”

12.35pm: With the rain predicted for 2pm, we quickened our pace and headed for our weekly dose of ‘retail therapy’. Within walking distance is ‘Gunwharf Quays‘ a pretty large retail outlet space. Ann can sniff out a bargain at 100 1000 paces, and we were soon joining the hundreds doing the same (surprisingly, it was VERY busy for a Monday!). M&S was heaving! (so much so that we abandoned our bargains after seeing the 20+ in the queue waiting to pay). Ann had better luck elsewhere and bagged a few big reductions.

12.55pm: A quick drink opposite the Spinnaker Tower entrance courtesy of Burger King!

1.40pm: We had a final look round, but with our bargains bagged, we headed for the car-park and back to the hotel to beat the showers. Right on cue, at 2pm, it lashed it down, and we felt pretty smug in that if we’d queued in M&S we would have got caught in the downpour on the walk back to the car-park! 😜

Just before the rain came!

2.10pm: Boy, did it rain on the journey back to the Holiday Inn – Biblical!!! β˜”β˜”β˜”β˜”β˜”. Just time to begin writing this post, freshen-up before heading to Southsea for some ‘Turkish Delight’. πŸ€”

Going Turkish

5.30pm: For our evening meal tonight, we went Turkish – and to the Agora restaurant in Southsea. It was highly recommended on TripAdvisor, so we were optimistic of a good experience. πŸ‘

When we arrived at 5.30pm, the Restaurant was empty (it had only just opened!). Twenty minutes later it was 75% full, and by 6.30pm it was packed! Not bad for a very rainy Monday evening ehh??!! By the time we left, just after 7pm,it was full. Not surprisingly, our meal was excellent! – with extra marks for the creaminess of the rice pudding! πŸ‘ Wow!

Tomorrow, we say goodbye to Portsmouth and hello to the Isle of Wight.



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