"Hello Sailor" in just so many ways! Friday 17th June 2016.

Bye bye New Forest and definitely "hello sailor". As our journey was only a couple of hours we decided we'd stop off in Portsmouth on the way.

About Portsmouth
Home to so much naval history, not least of which is HMS Victory, built in 1759, 104 guns, 821 crew and most famous as the ship where Nelson met his death at the battle if Trafalgar.

Come on board.
A plaque on the deck shows the very place he fell.

And a light shows where he finally passed away below decks.

The ship is not large, but it was the largest of the British fleet at the time. It was built as a gun ship and not for crew comfort with decks being short (it's a myth that sailors of the time were so much shorter) and each only had 16inches in which to swing his hammock. Pictures at every turn. A modern naval fleet nearby.

Glad we're not sleeping here tonight.

When we came up from below the rain had set in so we dashed across to the Victory museum for even more Victory memorabilia and tales of Nelson. Love that he was preserved in a barrel of brandy!

She truly was a great ship.
Then we went into the Mary Rose exhibition. Alas they are working I an improved viewing of the actual remains so we couldn't see the ship itself but did enjoy the bits and pieces we could see with Henry watching on.

Now could someone from the UK please explain your obsession with poo!? In an earlier blog I had the packets of seagull whoopsies and somewhere we also saw sheep droppings but this one takes the cake.

Finally a quick trip into another e hi biting space, where we saw the tender used by Queen Victoria to reach her yacht.

Lots of work in progress

And could this be the latest in anti-submarine defence in lean times?

We gave The Warrior (1860) a passing glance as we headed for the gates in increasing rain (given it's the least kind day we have had all trip we have nothing to complain about).

So then we were back on the road to Brighton. I should say that we couldn't do any of this without our fabulous GPS system we purchased for our 2014 trip. Sean keeps us directed and let's us know when any shaftey (safety in Scottish) are around. We did get a little cross with him today though. I twice over ruled him as we headed into Brighton and he kept trying to take us off the main road. Third time I relented and gave him his way only to have him take us right through the middle of very busy Brighton at 3pm when we needed to be on the far side.  Luckily Garrie is a superb driver, though we'd like a pound for every round about we've been through.

Why Brighton?  Well it kept coming up in conversations and TV programs (Cuffs - sad to hear there will be no second series),  and so it seemed a good place to add to our itinerary,  Famous for it's pier and as the gay capital of England it should make for an interesting last two days.

My Mum tells me that my Dad was stationed at a girls school here during his World War 2 naval training.  I did a little research and it seems that school was Roedean Independent School so Dad was part of HMS Vernon!  (Carol & John take note).  You can do a virtual tour of the grounds here. I can only imagine my Dad would have thought it a very posh place. Yes Mum we found it!
A little history of WWII in Brighton here  (Click on here Mum) but alas I can find no photos of my Dad.  Confirmation it's the right school came on the school website: "...Meanwhile, back in Brighton, Roedean had become HMS Vernon, home to over 30,000 sailors attending the Mining and Torpedo School and working for the electrical branches of the Navy. As a result of this period, Roedean is perhaps the only girls’ school in the country to have an Old Boys' Association."  My Dad was a sparky! I tried to imagine him there. What an amazing place to be, but in such dark days.
The gates were closed and the heavens were about to open so just a few quick pics. It looks out at the ocean and is just a little on from the new marina area that is a work in progress. 

We were going to wing it and find accommodation on the way but as we checked out possibilities everything we fancied was booked out for this weekend so we decided to dive in and pre book.  Nothing seemed available so we took a punt on a Wotif mystery hotel and ended up with a great deal on The Old Ship Hotel.  Now we have discovered that it is the oldest hotel in Britain, dating back to 1559.
A thunderstorm hit as we arrived so no pics of the outside yet but our room is quaint.
And I love this sign in the bathroom.
That could be fun. Plus we have a sea view.
Thank goodness we aren't staying in that ugly thing next door! Have also discovered that it's the London to Brighton cycle race on Sunday so that might make getting to Heathrow fun. Still a day to relax and play before then and think the rain has stopped so off to to the pier now.  Hugs to you all. Xx