The World is Calling So I Must Go   Leave a comment

2015 UK Hamble Jaclyn in Phone BoothSome of you may have noticed that, for the last year or so, I’ve been missing in action. Not due to anything in particular but simply because posting about my travels is so much easier and quicker on Facebook and Instagram. To be honest, I kind of forgot about my blog. Yikes!

But a very loyal subscriber, ‘Geoffrey’, called me on it (albeit unknowingly and in the nicest way) and made me realize that I cannot just stop, mid-sentence, so to speak. Nice people out in the world (yes, that includes you!) have signed up to read about my travels so I can’t just leave them hanging. So I’m digging into my memory bank to go back to the first stop on my European jaunt which was, of course, England!

PORTSMOUTH – specifically, the historic dockyards. It was on this ship, the Victory, where Admiral Nelson lost his life during the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Victory has been in dry dock here for almost 100 years and is quite an impressive sea vessel. I can just imagine it on the ocean, sails at full mast, blowing in the relentless wind. What a site that must have been! Unfortunately, my one photo of the entire ship was deleted in error before being backed up (rookie mistake, I know, but hey, it happens). But you’ve seen it, right, because you clicked on the above link, right?

My Dad’s in great shape for his age but even I appreciated the chance to just slow down and take in the sights, plus it was ridiculously stifling so we didn’t want to push it. Boathouse No. 4 (free entry, by the way, woohoo!) is where you’ll find skilled boat builders, true craftsmen, hard at work.  And it was here that I managed to convince Dad to dress up. Look at that face! Wouldn’t you have liked to have been a sailor on that ship with him at the helm? You just know he wouldn’t have made anyone walk the plank.

Portsmouth’s little known facts: Novelist H.G. Wells apprenticed here from 1881-83 and scenes from Les Miserables were filmed here (and also in Bath).

BATH – I visited this beautiful city for the first time in 2013 to do the ‘tourist thing’ but mostly to see the Roman Baths. This time, it’s a central location to meet up with family. It’s another  gorgeous day and quite different from my last trip, which you can read about here if you missed it.

I explore a little around the train station while waiting for my cousins to arrive. Directly across the street is a boutique arcade with an umbrella display. It’s super hot here, I almost want it to rain a little so I could see if they keep me dry (okay, I said ‘almost’!). Look at these phone booths. Aren’t they cool? I love that they aren’t just throwing them away, they’re such an icon of British culture. Check out this post by the BBC to see how they are being re-purposed.

Bath’s little known facts: Mary Shelley completed her novel Frankenstein here, Charles Dickens visited The Saracen’s Head pub in 1835 and Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie spent time here when he was in exile.

LONDON – I love this city! Every year I come back to England, I spend one day doing something in London I’ve never done before but this time I simply wander. From Tower Bridge, to Westminster, to Buckingham Palace, to Trafalgar Square, I get well more than my 10,000 steps in. Cinq, in the Hays Galleria was my lunch stop for what I thought would be a quick lunch on the run but I sat a while, eating the the freshest sandwiches and a tasty little pastry, while listening to a fabulous singing group from Barbados, or was it Bermuda? Not sure, but they were really good!

London’s little known facts: 20,000 landmarks and 25,000 streets. This is what every cabbie  has to learn before taking The Knowledge, a test that will licence them to drive one of the city’s famous black cabs. 

And that’s it for the UK. Next stop, Amsterdam!

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