Thursday, 2 May 2013

Stones and more

A beautiful morning: calm sea and blue sky. We arrived in time a Portsmouth and we started with our excursions to Stonehenge, Winchester and to the Historic Dockyards.

On our ride to Stonehenge we saw some of Portsmouth landmarks like Portchester Castle founded by the Normans in the 11th century, but the long wall belongs to the former Roman Fortress. Today they are the best Roman remains in the northern part of Europe.
We drove through the New Forest, a protected area of an old forest and a heathland. Here live deer and wild ponies which we could see from the bus. In the small villages are the typical cottages with thatched roof; a short stop in Salisbury before we reached the final destination Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is still a majestic and mystical place. The first ring of stones were erected 3000 BC and the building continued until 1500 BC. There are many explanation about the purpose and function of Stonehenge, especially because during Midnight sun (24th of June) the sun is shining through one of the main portals. We enjoyed spending the time there, walking around and listening to explanations and stories. In the afternoon we stopped for an hour in Salisbury and most of us visited the impressive cathedral built in the 13th century. Inside is the eldest still functioning watch in the world. Our two coaches arrived back at FRAM again at 3.30 pm.

A group of 40 passengers visited the wonderful and bright Cathedral in Winchester, built in the Perpendicular style. Winchester Cathedral is the longest church in England. Our third excursion – a group of 62 of us – visited the Historic Dockyards where Nelson’s famous flagship HMS Victory is stationed.

It was an exciting day in Portsmouth and the environs. We left the harbor at 5 pm with a good view of Spinnaker Tower and the Dockyards. Shortly before we came to the Channel, we passed the Isle of Wight, the largest Island in England.

The day ended with a tasting of Scottish whiskey and songs, performed by Bernie and Beastie.