Non-touristic tour of England: Portsmouth
• Travel on non-touristic England: Portsmouth
When it comes to traditional tourism purposes in England, the most popular place - it is London and Stonehenge. The first is really beautiful and is required to attend the second - one of the most frustrating rides because the reality is not so big and majestic, as we are used to seeing it in photos and in movies. But someone may attract its historical or mystical meaning.
Now we will focus on Portsmouth, a city in the south of England with a population of just over 200 thousand people, which almost can not be found non-UK tourists and is well known to fans of military history. It's not the most obvious tourist target for people who want to see England, but is actually very interesting.
Portsmouth was founded in 1180 and in 1194 received from Richard the Lionheart city status. At the end of the 15th century the city became the Royal Dockyard, that is, it placed the Royal Navy, and built Europe's first (since antiquity) dry dock. To this day, Portsmouth is the main base of the Royal Navy - the Royal Navy, it is placed half of his ships, including aircraft carriers all, it is considered the most important naval port in Europe.
Why is it worth to go to Portsmouth? Please call a specific target to visit, and later several common factors.
In Portsmouth worth HMS Victory - the oldest to date ship Royal Navy, who is still in service (since 1765!). It is the flagship of Vice-Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), in which the vice-admiral and died in battle. And this is one of the very few well-preserved ships of that era. Victory today available to visit in the Historic Dockyards, where it can be viewed entirely from stem to stern, and everywhere permitted shooting.
Imagine you are standing on the legendary flagship of Trafalgar, on the deck of the ship, commanded by Nelson!
Victory is truly impressive, not only history buffs, who have their own, are not always clear to the average tourist fad, but also very ordinary tourist. For those who are not in the subject, in the course of inspection placed very informative plaques telling the history of the ship and of the history of the battle.
Portsmouth is also worth HMS Warrior - armored frigate and the world's first all-metal armadillo swimming in the open sea, Launched in 1860. It was he who gave the name to this type of armored ships. Ship sailing ships era of change in the steam - it is, and the steam engine, and sail. Warrior is also fully accessible for visits, photography is permitted everywhere. No less impressive than the Victory.
In addition to these two ships in the museum complex includes the remains of the Mary Rose off-vehicle early 16th century, the flagship of the British Navy under King Henry VIII Tudor. It remained of the vessel, which sank in the next battle with the French in 1545 and raised from the bottom of the sea only in 1982, not so much.
In addition, in the same museum complex includes Royal Naval Museum with many interesting exhibits:
Ceremonial swords and jewels of British naval officers
Plan of the Battle of Trafalgar
The funeral barque Nelson, where his body was carried on the Thames
SteeringWheels and other parts of the various ships
As already mentioned, it is located in Portsmouth great and the best part of modern naval fleet of the country. To tourists, of course, is not allowed, but in fact some of the ships can be seen and even consider a Victory deck or from the windows of Royal Naval Museum.
They are also partially visible during a sea excursion along the harbor or the ferry to Gosport - the opposite side of the harbor, where two interesting museums.
One of them - Royal Navy Submarine Museum, ie the Museum of submarines, where, in particular, there is the submarine HMS Alliance, built in 1947 and became a museum in 1981. For it leads the tour very nice older gentleman who served on this boat in the 1970s. Talks about his service and many other interesting stories, especially if to ask around and visit not very numerous.
And for the accomplishment of the museum and watering flowers followed his wife.
In addition to HMS Alliance has many other interesting exhibits.
The second museum - a Museum of Naval Firepower, that is, if translated literally, the museum of naval firepower, located in a building of the 17th century gunpowder warehouse. It presents the history of weapons and ammunition, ranging from simple gunpowder bombs to modern naval artillery and its ammunition. Most of the exhibits can be touched by hands, twist, twirl, press the buttons (if the add).
The well-known Allied landing in Normandy June 6, 1944 began precisely from Portsmouth, which is dedicated in a special D-Day-Museum. This is - really for fans of military history, there are many documents collected for the planning and conduct of the Normandy landings, maps, uniforms, little dioramas. Indifferent to the history of the landing there better not to lead, as the majority of exhibits requires thoughtful consideration. Some visually impressive exhibits for photographing tourists there are few. There are, however, a couple of tanks.
Now distract from the glorious naval history of Portsmouth and remember about Charles Dickens - a classic of English literature. He was born in Portsmouth. The house where he was born still stands and is an object of pilgrimage for fans of his work, or just leisure, at least a little familiar with English literature. Another tourist destination is considered to be in Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower, an observation tower 170 meters high. In fact, the tower bears no historical or cultural load, but it's a good observation deck from which you can see and photograph the city from a height.
I will also note some "vkusnyashek", which are available in Portsmouth only at certain times. Every weekend in the spring, summer and autumn passes Fair Love Southsea Market. In late August, will Victorious Festival, is a town festival and music. At the end of July this year and next in Portsmouth can be observed stage of the regatta The America's Cup World Series.
In late June, usually a parade of the Day of the Navy. And we have just found in the course of our journey, a very colorful and authentic spectacle. The British know how to organize parades! After ten minutes of observation start fiercely proud of Britain, despite the fact that you never Briton.
This parade was dedicated to, among other things, the veterans of Arctic convoys during the Second World War. The photo shows how the surviving veterans are standards of its units.
The event was visited by the commander of the Navy and awarded veterans. I came up to everyone. To those who by reason of age sitting in a wheelchair or not immediately able to rise from his chair, leaned or squatted himself. We were close, and heard him briefly chatted with everyone asked, how are thanked for their service.
politically correct flag raising
And finally call, as promised, a few common reasons why Portsmouth nice town and worth a visit.
First, it is good and very polite inhabitants. The British, in principle, a polite nation, especially the older generation, especially if you talk to them in English, instead of gestures. But London will not meet often already this traditional English style of communication, both in the province. I advise you to choose to stay small, family-run hotel or guest house instead of a "network" of hotels. There is less likelihood that politeness and smile will be "on duty", it can be nice to chat with the staff or the owners of a beer there in the morning take an interest, as you slept, and in the evening - how to walk, we have seen and that is especially pleasant. So prompt a couple of places where you can still go for a walk or eat. In the photo hall of the hotel.
In the second place, compared to the very international city like London, where "native English" not very noticeable, Portsmouth - this English town. There is significantly less than workers (which can be seen even by unskilled labor, which often employ local) and you can watch the real English "in their natural habitat." Unless, of course, wondering how they live. City still quite "provincial", in spite of the naval base, and not very "globalized".
In the third place, pretty beautiful old town, on which a pleasant stroll. For obvious reasons, Portsmouth strongly bombed by the Germans during the Second World War, but restored historic center. Many modern buildings are also quite interesting. The town has a "cult" Horatio Nelson. He erected a monument to its present image as elements of the scenery in many hotels, cafes, restaurants, as well as other symbols and "artifacts" associated with the Battle of Trafalgar.
Fourth, the sea, that is, of course, the English Channel. Swim there even in the summer does not always make sense, unless you grew up on the shores of a cold sea. But it is a wonderful sea air, fresh fish and beautiful sunsets. It is the atmosphere of the sea town, promenade, fishing port.
In the fifth, the food. Yes, it is not the so-called French or Italian sophistication variety of traditional English cuisine is tasteless. Do not believe it. The kitchen is fairly simple, but tasty and filling. Full english breakfast - it's a great invention (not just for the ladies, bereguschie figure :)), as well as other options for breakfast. English breakfast - the best in Europe. The British know how to cook steaks (unlike the French), as well as any other meat. Well, fresh tasty fish in the port cities. I recommend to try their desserts, or rather cakes (cupcakes, or, in general, cakes), consisting of several thick with a layer cakes. There is no longer anywhere in Europe. In Portsmouth, they can try, for example, in the cafeteria at the museum complex, where there are the above ships.
In the sixth, to Portsmouth is easily accessible from mainland Europe and from London, and he is in close proximity to many exciting tourist destinations. This is the famous Stonehenge and the Jurassic Coast, and Tank Museum Bovington, where every year in late June - early July, held a show tank and roll out these tanks of the Second World War. Among others there are "tiger" and "Sherman" and was featured in the recently released film "Rage" (Fury).
All the major attractions can be viewed in two or three full days. Even short episodes of cloudy weather Portsmouth leaves a good impression - calm, kind, pleasant and very interesting.