Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Further Island Adventures

Dad and I engaged in a little social experiment recently....My old bike, which has been sitting in the shed gathering dust for a year, as the gears are a hazard to ones health, was placed next to the entrance of the close opposite without being locked to discern how honest folk passing through are....apparently not very...said bike disappeared after about 24 hours...granted that's about 23 hours longer than I gave the local tea leaf credit for, but they have a turkey on their hands...which is also where they'll be once the gears kick in of their own accord...ahhh, karma.

Anyhoo....The last day on the Isle of Wight was a group activity...since we had to catch the ferry back in the afternoon....I suggested, in the tone of demand, the castle was a decent enough place to spend the morning and so to Carisbrooke we went.

The entrance to the 12th Century Castle

The area has seen a form of fortification and battlements from around the 7th Century and is most famous for where Charles I was imprisoned before his execution in 1649

Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Beatrice was the last resident of the Castle between 1896-1944...her garden lies next to the chapel

The inside of the Chapel

My favourite part of the Castle is the old 16th Century well where donkey's are used to pull up the bucket...they weren't working the day we visited....

But they were hanging out at the stables...each Donkey has a name beginning with the letter 'J' (how very Sesame Street) due to Charles I who would smuggle out letters from his prison signed with the initial....this is either Jim-Bob, Julian, James, Jemima or Jewel....though they all look like Donkey off of Shrek if you ask me...."We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I'm making waffles!"

The Well is 161 feet deep.....tested scientifically by dad and I by dropping in a pebble...took a whole 4 seconds before we heard the 'plop'....Those familiar with the novel Moonfleet will recognise this as the place where the Mohune diamond was hidden.

One of my other favourite things about castles is the battlements...the whole walking in the footsteps of folk from the last few hundred years always sets off my swashbuckling inner moppet....these particular footsteps equal 71 to the top of the keep

The view is totally worth it....

The view across the Castle and the downland in the distance the length of it I walked the day before.

Walking the Battlements...using big stick to mock a sword fight optional

We also walked the lower battlements...which still has the gun placements from WWI

One of the things I was hoping to see is the legendary Red Squirrel...they used to be a native of the whole country but some bright spark brought the grey squirrel from the US which harboured a disease fatal to the Red...the Isle of Wight is now the only place you find these cuties and anyone bringing the grey version to the Island who be in a bucket of trouble...I didn't get a picture (saw one from the car at one point) so I nicked one off Google.....

After our day at the Castle the only thing left to do was catch the ferry home...we ended up being a couple of hours early and fortune being in our favour were waved straight onto a ferry which was just about to leave.....

The Isle of Wight from the ferry

Crossing the Solent there were many yachts and sail boats since it was near perfect sailing weather....this is one of the Tall Ships Challenger fleet..used in major races around the world and also used to train youngsters from any neck of the woods to learn to sail....also in the background two of the four Palmerstone Follies from the 1800's which were built to defend Portsmouth from invasion from the French by the time they had been finished, however, were obsolete...these day's posh folk pay oodles of cash to spend the night in them.

And Finally as we pulled into the Ferry port a quick snap of the Spinnaker Tower and to it's left the Historic Dockyard with HMS Warrior on display.

So there you go...not bad for four days...I like to pack in what I can, especially when the weather was being so co-operative...now the leaves on the trees are starting to look decidedly brown, sunset is getting earlier, even on a sunny day there's the beginnings of a nip in the air.....and those damn annoying, and slight creepy, flying daddy-long-legs are starting to make a not so welcome appearance...That'll be Autumn then....*frowny face*


Kimberly said...

OK, I'll make you a deal! I will take you anywhere you want to go in Florida (or the southern states) if you promise to show me around England when we visit! I get all dreamy just looking at your photos and wishing for a chance to visit!

I also had an old bike that loved to skip gears on its own. The last straw, was when I got stranded with my then toddler daughter. My legs were shaking and tired from battling against the push of the gears. So the very next garage sale we had, I parked it out front with a FREE sign on it. I think it was the first or second person that took it. They were so excited to get a free bike. I told them it needed work and they were eager to be on their way. LOL Little did they know!

Firefly mom said...

I think you're going to be the one to end up with the crown of "Field Trip Queen". I mean really - how is anyone supposed to compete with castles?? ;D

Those stained glass windows are beautiful. And I agree with you - the donkey looks like, well, Donkey!

And apparently we'll be needing to get you a sword to take along on your next little jaunt...

Emma said...

Kim - anytime mate...though you may have to put up with the dodgy public transport system as I don't have a car....and my pics really only look good due to the point and click nature of the most excellent digital camera...also, it's most definitely not always as sunny as it looks in the photos...we've been having some late summer weather as opposed to summer weather in actual summer and I only really go exploring when there's less thatn 5 clouds in the sky ;-)

Carri-Ann - Do i get a plaque as a marker for all future field trip attempts lol....it's not so much a field trip with educational purposes like yours are though...just a selfish indulgence on my part...I do love a good castle...and you guys have castles...I've seen them, in Florida there's one in which you can have dinner while enjoying a couple of Medeval Knight's jousting, sword fighting etc...very authentic ;-)