Saturday, September 07, 2013

A Visit to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight

The Red Funnel Ferry, this is a sister ship to the ones we rode over and back.
The Isle of Wight sits just off the coast of England in the Channel.  The area between the isle and England is the Solent, where the river of that name runs into the sea.  To get there, you must sail, either a small boat or a ferry.   Well, I guess you could fly, but......  The sailing time on the Red Funnel Ferry from Southampton to Cowes is 1 hour, and the cost, for the two of us as seniors was 19 pound 20.   The ferry is huge, carrying both foot passenger and car passengers.  We left our car in Southampton.

Cowes, built from the harbor up.

The marinas were full of wonderful sail and motor boats.

The Wales Challenge from one of the Volvo Ocean Races.

Sailing into Cowes was a surprise for me.  I didn't expect it to be so crowded.  In hindsight, I don't see how it could be anything else.  This has been a holiday destination for nearly 200 years.  There are lots of houses and apartment buildings, with more being built.  Cowes is considered on of the best sailing areas in England.

A sample of English humor; this plaque commemorates the first speeding ticket given in Cowes!

After landing, we walked up from the harbor to Osborne House, the summer home of Queen Victoria, designed by her husband, Prince Albert.  After Albert died of typhoid, Victoria spent more and more time her.  The inside, where piare photos are not allowed, is rather depressing.  Little changed from when it was first furnished.  Albert's dressing room is still laid out as it was when he died.

The English Heritage aerial photo of Osborne House.

Walking up to the front entrance.

Boar and dog guarding the entrance.

After Victoria died, none of her children wanted the place, so her son, the new king, gave it to the nation.  It was used as a military school for a long time, then finally given to English Heritage, who has opened it to the public.  All the furnishings, though, are still property of Queen Elizabeth II.
Agave Americana in a large planter in the center of the back garden.  We have these growing all over our property in Tucson!

Back of Osborne House with gardens.

We did a walk around the gardens, then left to look for some lunch.  Deciding we would really like some fish, we headed down to the marina.  There were signs leading to "The Lifeboat", so we followed.  Good choice!  The hake and chips with fresh peas; delicious!  We each had a pint, then another.  Hey, we weren't driving the boat.

Cunard Lines Queen Victoria with 1800 people aboard.

The ferry ride  to Southampton was on a sister ship of the one from the morning.  Bill enjoyed taking pictures of all the sail boats in the harbor and out on the Solent.  On the way back, we passed the Cunard Lines "Queen Victoria", headed out to sea.   A nice day in a different sort of place.

1 comment:

Patricia Carrasco said...

So did you read the large panels of the Queens quotes in the entry of the house? My favorite "I do like children, especially the pretty ones" or something close to that ......hilarious!! And the creepy porcelain feet and hands of the children in the nursery, housed under glass, of course. I really did love the gardens...

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