Tuesday, 21 April 2009

A MOST ENJOYABLE POST EASTER JAUNT

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.

14 comments:

HelenMHunt said...

Great photos. Good to hear you had such a good time.

Lane said...

Just looking at your photos made me realise I am long overdue a visit 'back home':-)

Glad you had a lovely time and good weather.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You lucky thing getting to meet DJ and son. Maybe one day.

Great pictures, esp Beach Head and the lonely lighthouse.

CJ xx

Troy said...

Helen - thanks, your thoughts are appreciated.

Lane - I thought you were a Suffolk girl. Enjoy your next trip "back home".

CJ - of course I'm hoping fairly soon that DJ will be sending me a comment saying that I'm lucky having met Crystal J.

Kitty said...

I used to research my family history - must get back to that sometime - and a whole raft of them came from Kent - Eastbourne, Edenbridge, etc. I'm determined to go to Kent one day and see Beechy Head, etc. x

Debs said...

It sounds like you all had a great trip (apart from the irritating vandalism to your car, of course).

Love the photos.

Troy said...

Kitty - you will enjoy going back to your roots. And good luck when you start revisiting your research.

Debs - not quite as glamorous as the Big Apple but an enjoyable few days away.

DJ Kirkby said...

Great photos!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Oh you made me homesick after reading this, I have also spent a weekend in Eastbourne and it's a grand place. Love your piccies, just sorry to read about your car.

Leigh said...

Oh, the old folk today. Something ought to be done to get them off the streets...

Troy said...

DJ - thanks!

Sarah - it is a long way for a weekend now though isn't it?

Leigh - we think the wing mirror was kicked. They must have lent back on their zimmer frame to do it.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Good account of your trip, Troy. Some really good photos and sorry to hear about the mindless vandalism.

My signnificant ex was from Southampton. That explains why I never got to visit Portsmouth except when I was about ten to see HMS Victory. Time to rectify that I think!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Ugh! A typo...apologies. This laptop is driving me insane!

Ladybird World Mother said...

From your spreadsheet to show comments for 2009 I appear to have missed this post. So here is the comment... Lovely photos!! xx