Day 16: Plymouth to Portsmouth

Our day started very early today with a 6:00 a.m. wake up call.  Yikes!  Somehow, Douglas and I made it to breakfast and to the coach on time.  We're still staying up late at night (actually  Douglas even later ).  I've made it to bed around 12:30 every morning, while Douglas is usually still up at 2:00 a.m.  Apparently I talk to him in my sleep and go into bouts of snoring!   What this poor guy puts up with, eh?

Our first stop of the day was Stonehenge in the Salisbury Plains.  Having been built so long ago, little is known about the "how and why" of the structure -- at least with any reasonable degree of certainty.

Stonehenge

The most interesting aspect is the statistics of weight and location of the stones themselves.  It tends to remind one of the giant stones on Easter Island and the Pyramids of Egypt.

We then drove into the town of Salisbury.  The cathedral here has the tallest spire in England (over 400 feet).  We had a lunch stop in Winchester.  This is another one of those towns we would like to have had much more time to explore.  We did manage to stop by the statue of Alfred The Great.

The harbor on the way to the  Isle of Wight.

We dashed off to catch our ferry to the Isle of Wight.  We were about five minutes late, but our tour director was able to talk them into letting us on the ferry.  The short ferry ride across the channel was pleasant.  The harbor was filled with hundreds, if not thousands -- of boats and ships of every description.  We departed the ferry and made our way to Osborne House.  Osborne House was the residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  The grounds of Osborne House were magnificent.  The inside of the house is very much a time capsule.  It has changed very little since Queen Victoria died.  There are surprising conveniences inside the house, including full body showers and elevators.  Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Osborne house is the slightly erotic nature of some of the paintings and sculpture.  This differs greatly with the impression I've grown up with concerning the "Victorian" age.  Shocking!  We took the ferry back to the mainland and made our way to Portsmouth for the night.

Tomorrow is the last day of our tour.  I'm sad to leave, but at the same time ready to go home.  I'm running out of energy -- especially towards the end of the day.  Douglas and I joked that he has evolved from guide, to pack mule, to lackey!   It seems the longer we've gone into the trip, the more toting, rummaging, and running he does.  All that Montana workout sure comes in handy!  Douglas and I hope to end the trip with a blow-out in London on the last night.  We're devising our plans now...  We'll let you know how it turns out!

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