We had a pretty late night last night, so we slept in this morning and relaxed. We went to Lee by the solent and Portsmouth for the afternoon. Both towns are right on the water and are super cute. We visited the Portsmouth Naval yard where they had a bunch of boats. It reminded me a lot of the Charlestown Navy Yard, just much bigger. The HMS warrior is docked there. It’s the world’s first iron hulled, armored warship powered by both steam and sail. It had the date 1860 on it, but I’m not sure if that’s when it was built or if that’s when it was retired. I’m sure I could figure it out if I really put some thought into it, but I’m pretty tired right now and in the middle of packing. Dad, you can research that one.
Also there is HMS Victory which is Nelson’s flagship and the most famous warship in the world. I’m not sure I fully believe the famous part, since I’d never heard of it, but it was really old and had a lot of cannons like the USS Constitution.
There were also a bunch of active ships docked there and a small exhibit which showed an old ship that was supposed to be painted for camouflage. You’d think it would be blue or dark grey color of water, but no it’s got a geometric blue and white pattern on it. I’m sure someone was fired over this.
Our trip ended with dinner at the Jolly Farmer, which is an 1800’s old English pub that’s near Ashley’s house. It had fantastic food and a warm rustic atmosphere with tons of old memorabilia around. I’m packing up now and have a few final last thoughts on the trip:
– not only do people drive on the opposite side of the road here, but they walk opposite as well. Needless to say, I ran into quite a few people walking along the sidewalks
– double decker buses, old school taxi cabs and red phone booths are everywhere.
– they love the saying “keep calm and carry on”
– I’m not quite convinced that anyone actually works normal hours here. People are constantly in business suits all over the place at the oddest hours. We passed a park in the heart of London at 3pm on Thursday and it was packed full of people in business suits lounging on the grass
– driving here is like playing mario cart. the streets are all very narrow and people like to park on the side of the road, forcing the road to be impassible by 2 cars at once. luckily drivers here seem to be very polite and will let you pass by driving around the parked cars. i’d be the worst masshole driver here. also they’re big fans of roundabouts here. they use them instead of traffic lights.
– high street is normally the shopping street in the town
– the majority of the cars here are deisel
– people here get very offended by being called English if they are from Scotland or Whales. One of Ashleys friends yelled at us for being called English because he’s Welch and said it’s like him calling us Mexicans. talk about overly sensitive.
– the royal family really isn’t all that popular and hyped up here. no one’s obsessed with pippa the way americans are
– people here are generally more friendly, curtious and nice here.