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August 30th 2012
Published: September 26th 2012
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Spinnaker TowerSpinnaker TowerSpinnaker Tower

By Gunwharf Quays, The Portsmouth Harbor Train Station, and the Hard Interchange bus station.
August 30 Thursday Portsmouth -

I rode the train Yesterday (Wednesday) from Coventry thru London and on to Portsmouth. Riding the train is the most convenient way to get across the country but you really can’t see anything. All you see from the train is the sides of the railway embankment, trees, and the backs of buildings. Every now and again something comes into view but not usually. I think busses, while not being near as comfortable of quick are the best way to see a country as they usually go through some of the towns and villages. In any case when I meander my way to Coventry next week I will work around London. I will save London for a trip of its own.

Right now I am looking at getting to Coventry next Wednesday or Thursday. I’m going to the D Day Museum again today, and check out Portsmouth as well as go by the Ferry Port to check on a ferry to Normandy.

I had wanted to go to Winchester to tour the house Jane Austen lived in but I don’t know if I will manage that this trip.

Portsmouth surprised me a bit. I had expected an industrialized area dominated by shipyards, but it is more of a seaside resort with a nice beach and beautiful gardens to walk around in.

It’s funny but in the hostel except for the TV here you never hear English spoken. This is truly an international hostel. You hear German mostly, followed by Spanish, French, and every once in a long while a little English.

Today I picked up where I left off yesterday. I first walked up to St Catherine St. and took a right and walked up a few blocks to Carraden Road and left my dirty clothes at a Laundromat there to be washed. There are also 2 stores on this street, one of them 24/7. Also one of the best Fish and Chips places I have eaten at in either England or Ireland. Having my wash done by someone else was a bit pricey at £8.50 but worth it as I have better things to do with my time here than wash clothes. I dropped them off and walked back to the seaside to see Southsea Castle and the part of the D Day museum that I had not had time to look at yesterday. Then I went out to the bus stop to catch it to the Spinnaker Tower. The bus driver said the bus was only going to Clarence Pier about a mile of so up the beach and then it was going to take a break and then come back and go to the Spinnaker tower. I told him fine I would just catch the bus to Clarence Pier instead of walking another mile or so to it. He just could not believe I was willing to pay £1.50 to ride the bus such a short distance rather than walk. I told him I didn’t care about the £1.50, I wanted to ride the bus. So he sold me a ticket. If I had been willing to wait a bit I could have just walked across the street and caught the bus on its return but I didn’t want to do that.

I rode to the pier and got off and was going to catch the bus back again to Spinnaker Tower and the driver showed me where the tower was and how close it was and said it was only a short walk (you just can’t convince these drivers that you would just as soon pay a little bit rather than walk all over creation) so I decided to just walk along the water to the tower. The walk turned out to be very interesting but was a long, long, long way as I kept coming to dead ends in where the buildings went out into the water and back and so I had to retrace my steps several times and go around where boat slips etc. and even docks for huge ships had been built.

At Clarence Pier there is an amusement park of a sort as well as the boarding location for the hovercraft to the Isle of Wight. There is a stop there for the 700 bus which will take you to Gunwharf Quays where the Spinnaker Tower and the Portsmouth Harbor Railway and bus station is located. The bus and railway station are immediately adjacent to each other. You can catch a bus to just about anywhere from there.

The bus station has a restaurant but it is the English equivalent of truck stop food.

Anyway I was pretty wore out time I got to Spinnaker tower but had seen several things along the way so I reckon it was worth it. Spinnaker tower had an impressive view of Portsmouth and Southsea as well as the Royal Navy yards and museum. From it you can see the HMS Warror and HMS Victory as well.

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