Wednesday, September 23, 2020

RSV England Trip - Day Four: Portsmouth

Day Four - Friday, June 21 - took us to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where we could take self-guided tours of the HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, and Boathouse 4.  There were also harbor tours and, of course, a gift shop.  (The connection to Jane Austen being that she had brothers in the Royal Navy.)  

Feeling very nautical in front of the HMS Victory

Before we could join the group for the day's tour, we first had to pack up all our things and leave our beloved Elton House behind.  After our stop in Portsmouth we would be journeying on to Brighton for the next leg of our tour.  

For once I was early!  I was packed and ready, fully dressed in my Regency finery, and had time for breakfast AND some leisure sewing in the garden before we left to meet the coach for the day:  

I was not ready to leave Bath, let alone the lovely historic house we had called home for the past four days!  My housemates indulged me with a goodbye photo shoot:

Our exceptionally cheerful coach driver for the day was Simon:  

It was a beautiful day in Portsmouth, actually bordering on hot!

I chose to tour the HMS Victory first.  I was quite blown away by it!  

The tour was conducted by audio devices that you pointed at various signs throughout the ship, and then listened as it narrated a portion of the events of the famous Battle of Trafalgar that corresponded to the part of the ship you were in at that moment.  It then directed you to the next sign, and by following the instructions and listening to the narration, you got a largely chronological account of the battle from various perspectives of the crew.  It was really fascinating!  

I got a couple photos of myself on the deck, naturally:  

And of course I was most interested in the textiles of the refurbished ship, like the curtains on this hanging bed:  

I wondered if the embroidery had any significance, and if it was a recreation of an original curtain or merely a fanciful artistic choice.  Sadly the narration did not inform me.  

I must say, they've done a fantastic job of refurbishing the ship - especially given how beat up I now know it was after the battle!  I appreciated the attention to detail in all of the furnishings and armaments.  They even painted the hull back to the original colors that it would have been in 1805.  

A few more photos on the deck:  

I was fascinated by how huge the ropes were, and needed a shot of me next to them for scale:  

It really is a magnificent ship, and I can highly recommend touring it if you're ever in Portsmouth (post-Covid, of course).  

After that I took a harbor tour, where I took no pictures.  I just relaxed.  

Then after a quick snack at the bakery:

I was ready to tour the HMS Warrior:  

Quite an imposing sight.  

The signal flags read "Good Luck," according to my Googling.

This tour was even more self-guided, with no audio devices explaining what we might be looking at.  So I largely wandered and took photos of things that interested me.  

There were a few men (some dressed as Victorian sailors) positioned throughout the ship who were available if we had questions.  This kind gentleman was very knowledgeable, and my travel companion Renee and I ended up as a little tour group of two that he guided around one whole deck of the ship, showing us all sorts of interesting things:  

Of course, that being over a year ago now, I remember none of it.  :p  But we had a lovely time listening to him!  

Renee and I also visited Boathouse 4 briefly, before it closed for the day.  My feet were killing me by this time (my shoes were not kind to my feet at all!) so I didn't take many pictures or linger for very long.  

Finally, before leaving, I found a garden to take pictures in:  

It was small, but charming:  

Back on the coach for the drive to Brighton, I resumed sewing lace on the chemisette I was making to wear the next day.  

I also kept an eye on the beautiful scenery we were driving through, including this castle:  

It was hard to get a clear shot in between the trees:  

But I did my best!  

I looked it up and found that it was Arundel Castle, in case you're interested.  

Oh, and I was amused to find that one of my curls had survived the day!  But only one:  

Oh well.  

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