After two weeks spent in England, I thought it could be a good idea to organise a trip in Portsmouth, a town located at 1.15 hour by bus from Bournemout. I went to bed at 2am to wake at 6, in order to be on time to catch the “national express” bus. On the way to the coach station, I began to feel a pain to my ankle, let’s just say that these first 20 minutes walking were not very pleasant.
My friend and I had to hurry for a bus which left 10 minutes late. Arrived in Porthsmouth, that is to say at the stop “Roundabout Portsmouth” and definitely not at “international port” where we would have ended in a ferry for an unknown destination. When we organised this trip, I was aware that this week-end was the D-Day 70th anniversary. What does that have to do with Portsmouth ? Well, Portsmouth is one of the three biggest military harbour of England, and Southsea, the beach and the harbour, have been the boarding areas of the allies troups for the landing in Normandy on June 1944.
When we get off the bus, a big boat immediately draw my attention, i thought it looked like the Black Pearl in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. Actually, it was the HMS Victory, flagship of Nelson during the Trafalgar battle, which stands in the harbour as a floating museum. My friend wasn’t interested much in the ship but in the Spinnaker Tower, a white tower of 170m high at the water’s edge.
We also planned to do some shopping there, because a lot of famous shops like Nike, Lacoste, UGG etc are situated in Portsmouth. I absolutely don’t know why we decided to leave from Bournemouth at 7am, because the shops don’t open before 9.30am and we had to wait for a while. We had lunch in Burger King that day, after we found a table near to a plug, in order to reload our Iphones. This is at this time that i understood that i had a sprain to my ankle, because the pain was continuing to amplify.
So we decided to carry on our trip by bus and paid £5 for a daily ticket. I’d like to point out that I find buses prices here exorbitant ! We spend the afternoon visiting the town. I found the beach less nice than Bournemouth’s one, because it’s made of shingles and not sand. We also visited the Southsea Castle, which was free and very interesting. In front of the D-Day Museum, were soldiers, tanks and weapons. We had the opportunity to practise our english, speaking with them. We met an army veteran of 93 years old, who was there at the D-Day. This meeting touched me a lot.
The Portsmouth D-Day Museum is the only museum of Great Britain only dedicated to cover all the aspects of the Normandy landing in 1944. We were glad to discover that the explanation in the museum were also written in French. I dont want to tell you more about the visit in case you go to visit it one day, except the fact that I fell asleep during the 15min of the movie we watched there. We went out the museum at the perfect time, because we had the luck to attend to parachute jumps.
I ended that day on a high note, at a terrasse, enjoying a Cesar Salad and a Pizza, well deserve after this day full of strong emotion, even if I had some difficulty to get up because of my ankle.