Published: September 13th 2008September 12th 2008
Billed with the headliners of Amy Winehouse, Gary Numan and the Human League, the Bestival on the Isle of Wight was a feast of music, fun, rain and mud! MUD - I don't think so! Phew, we missed all that lovely mud; as the family will recall - Lena does not do that! We did not attend the Bestival (far too muddy and cool for us), but we saw the remnants of the Bestival as we waited at Southampton ferry port and watched the bedraggled festival goers with muddy boots, legs, faces etc (you get the picture), trundle off the previous ferry. Needless to say, once on the ferry Alan fastidiously cleaned our seat before we sat down (too much mud) and we had an uneventful trip across to the IofW. (Note: exciting ferry picture)
The Isle of Wight attracts hoards of visitors every year, famous for its beaches, places of historical interest - Osborne House etc. It is also home to June (Alan's mum) and his sister Leigh and family - hence our visit. We spent the first few days aclimatizing to the wet(ter) weather and helping Alan's mum out (well Alan worked and Lena supervised - of course).
Managed a quick trip over to Portsmouth for some shopping therapy at Gunwharf Quays - fantastic bargains to be had here! A little too cloudy to make the long walk up the Spinnaker Tower worthwhile for what we have been told provides breathtaking views of Portsmouth harbour and beyond, so we settled instead to a bite to eat and a drink or two - G&T for June (Al's mum) before retracing the footsteps of Portsmouth harbour's naval history ...
The first ship to see is HMS Warrior, albeit that June was convinced that this ship was in the spot (or is that berth?) that was previously held by HMS Victory. June was convinced that someone had deliberately exchanged the location of HMS Victory since she last visited just to confuse her (mmm - early alzheimer's coming on perhaps?). The HMS Warrior is an impressive introduction to the 'historic' Portsmouth harbour, which draws you in as you walk though the massive dockyard gates. HMS Victory is a 'living museum' and it takes very little imagination to envisage it sailing majestically across the sea and in the Battle of Trafalger - been reading too many tourist books! We did manage to
see a couple of the Royal Navy ships who have parked (? not sure of the correct term) for a refit - HMS Ark Royal was one (I mistakenly thought that the Ark Royal expected wet/inclement weather for a party they were hosting as the deck was covered by a massive marquee type material but apparently this is part of the refit.)
Just one more day and then time to leave the IofW, go home and finish (or perhaps I should say start) packing for our fabulous holiday. Less than one week to go ... we cannot wait!
There are more photos below