Today's posting will be a collection of photographs taken during the week after Easter when we had a delightful few days on the South Coast of England. Having stayed a few times in Travelodges I get regular e-mails from them telling me about their special £9 or £19 room sales. A sucker for a bargain, back in February I put together a few nights of cheap Travelodge rooms for the week after Easter. I tried various intineries including Bristol and the West Country but each time a rather inconvenient £50+ room kept breaking into the cheap set. Now a Travelodge room at £19 is good value (you get what you pay for) but £50+, well I ask you! So finally I got two nights in Portsmouth (where I'd stayed for DJ and Chopper's joint book launch) and two nights in Eastbourne.
Now the weather forecast at Easter for the following week showed as "sunny intervals", "light rain", "heavy rain" and "heavy rain" for the four days we would be away. I was half tempted to cancel - I mean Eastbourne for two days of heavy rain! However the actual weather was "quite warm and sunny", "warm and sunny", "warm and sunny" and "quite warm and sunny". And by "sunny" I mean clear blue skies. So much for the BBC 5 Day Weather Forecast. I wonder how many people actually did cancel their plans based on the erroneous forecast?
On our first day in Portsmouth we met up with DJ, her N3S, Leigh, Leigh's husband and her three children. So Troy Junior had some good company and so too did Mrs Troy and I. We had a lovely few hours on the beach at Southsea, watched the IoW Hovercraft come in (most impressive run off the sea up its slipway) and had fish and chips in the fresh air. Here's the hovercraft charging into towards the beach:
The next day, the three of us went up the Spinnaker Tower. This is a remarkable landmark in Portsmouth. Oringinally planned for the new Millenium but I believe was completed a couple of years late and (again I believe) well over budget. However it now is a wonderful attraction on the waterfront. A real asset to the city. This is the tower:
The view from the lookout area is impressive with views out over the Isle of Wight. In the other direction is the naval base and the historic dockyards which include HMS Victory (Nelson's flagship) and HMS Warrier (the first iron-hulled warship in the world). In this picture the two historic ships can be seen (click on photo to enlarge) plus HMS Invincible aircraft-carrier and in the distance the brand new HMS Daring destroyer.
On the way to Eastbourne we parked at the Seven Sisters nature park and walked down to see the chalk cliffs where the South Downs meet the English Channel.
Later in Eastbourne we walked up to Beachy Head. It was a long way but fortunately Troy Junior is a good walker (he's had a lot of training in his eight years). It was worth the walk as the view from the cliff top down to the Beachy Head lighthouse is well worth seeing.
The only downside to holiday was that someone vandalised my car on the last night we were there. Just the wing mirror but most annoying. Eastbourne obviously has its share of mindless morons as well as nice genteel folk.
On the way back home near Edenbridge we met up with an old work colleague of mine who we hadn't seen in about 12 years (well before Troy Junior was born). So new friends, an old friend and some great sightseeing in excellent weather - all in all a great few days away.