Danny's Summer '06 Study Abroad
This Sunday after returning from Wales last night, Daniel, Lindsey, and I left early in the morning to the southern coastal port of Portsmouth. We first went to the historic dockyard to see the old warships. With a combined ticket we got to go inside the HMS Warrior from 1860, HMS Victory from 1760, the Mary Rose Ship Hall, and the Royal Naval Museum. The warships were awesome. The gun decks w/ all the cannons were just fascinating and the Mary Rose Ship Hall was cool b/c it's the only surviving 16th century warship. It's currently undergoing a 6 year restoration process. Only one side of the ship was recovered and it stands behind glass walls, being sprayed by wax. The Royal Naval Museum had a cool exhibit on Captain Nelson, Britain's greatest naval hero who commanded over 30 ships. After this we went to the Spinnaker Tower, a modern swordfish looking tower. It has 3 viewing platforms, the first being the coolest w/ the largest glass floor in Europe. It was really freaky walking across it and seeing the ground 100 meters below you. Portsmouth also had a cool shopping area near the water below the tower w/ tons of modern restaurants. After this we went to Brighton, another coastal city. The coolest thing here was the Royal Pavillion, King Henry IV's palace. It doesn't fit in England at all w/ it's Taj Mahal looking outside and elaborate oriental decorations on the inside. Pictures weren't allowed so I had to sneak them, but the coolest things were the dining room and the music listening room. In the dining room was a 30 ft. chandelier that was held by a scary looking dragon above. All the walls were filled w/ chinese portraits and other oriental decorations. In the music listening room, dragons and serpents spiraled around the curtains, which was also super elaborate and wierd. Weird is the best way to describe this place. After leaving the Pavillion we walked to the beach, which was interesting b/c it wasn't sand but large pebbles. Yet people were still laying on it and splashing in the water even though it was windy and cool out. On the beach was a cool pier that had a carnival on it. Lindsey and I went on an extreme ride called the booster, which had to capsules that spun in huge loops. It was crazy. This was an awesome day trip b/c we saw things that were so different from everything so far.