No Room to Swing a Cat, Letting the Cat out of the Bag and A Square Meal — All of these expressions, I learned, have its origins from sailing. Allan and I spent a weekend in Portsmouth given that I was there every few days in the past month anyway.
Colleagues had recommended that we visit the Historic Dockyards and so we did, even though I knew nothing about boats, ships, sailing and history related to them. I was glad we went though, because we had the chance to step inside the HMS Victory, an 18th century ship that has been restored. It was amazing how the original wooden plank flooring remains and how they still have the layout as it use to be many, many years ago. I’ve always known that these ships must’ve been extremely crowded back then and seeing the layout and walking around, it was easy to imagine how cramped it was. What I didn’t expect was how limited the head room was. I’m a small person yet I had to make sure I don’t hit my head on anything. How uncomfortable it must’ve been for those far taller than I am.
The ticket to the historic dockyard included access to all the other museums in the area including one for the Mary Rose — a ship that was raised from underwater in 1982. The remains of the Mary Rose itself was not open for public viewing but they had all sorts of artifacts found on display. I was pleasantly surprised to see the costumes from the TV series “The Tudors” on loan and on display.
We also took advantage of the Portsmouth Harbour tour where you are taken around the harbour to see the other modern ships of the Royal Navy. Again, don’t really know much about ships but these ones were proper ones that you can imagine heading to war (yes they have weapons and all that).
After hours spent at the historic dockyard, we decided to hit Gunwharf Quays for a better photo of the Spinnaker Tower. We didn’t go up anymore as the weather was quite bad and, well, we didn’t really see the point in it, to be honest. It makes for good photos though, for sure.