Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cars, Ferries, Trains, and Even a Bicycle!

Today's adventure started with a drive through the New Forest to Hythe. We parked the car there and walked to the Hythe Ferry terminal, which is just what we did on the day we were married. Again today we rode the little electric train from the terminal to the end of the 640-meter pier and boarded the ferry for the 10-12 minute ride to Southampton. On our wedding day, I made the trip in full wedding regalia, and I felt like royalty. Everybody wanted to wish me well and shake my hand. This time, I was dressed much less formally, but the trip was still fun. Robin and I sat in the second-to-last compartment on the train. Another couple sat in the last compartment, but there was no wall between us -- just different sets of wooden benches. When we were perhaps halfway down the pier, a man rode past us on a bicycle, only the top half of him visible; moving just barely faster than we were, so that he reminded us of the scene in The Wizard of Oz when the witch bicycles past Dorothy in the middle of the tornado. We burst out laughing. That was a great way to start our journey.

When we got off the ferry in Southampton, we immediately boarded the Isle of Wight ferry (the slow one) for the trip to Cowes. That took about 50 minutes; I enjoyed reading my book along the way; when we got off, we discovered that we were in East Cowes. Oops. We really wanted to be in West Cowes. By land, we would have had to take a bus all the way to Newport, then back to Cowes, which would have taken at least an hour. It turned out that there is a chain ferry running from right beside the ferry terminal -- and it's free! So we boarded the chain ferry and rode across the open sea to West Cowes, a journey of about three minutes' duration.

We walked along the esplanade to Egypt Point; watching the birds, boats, and ships ply the water; huddling against a biting wind; keeping a watchful eye on the darkening sky. Along the way, we stopped to eat the pasties that we had bought down by the pier. I took pictures of everything except the pasties.

After a brief rest at the outward end of our walk, we turned around and walked back to the pier, caught the fast ferry, and rode back to Southampton in 25 minutes. This ride was much bouncier than the first one. I did not read. From there, it was another 10-12 minutes back to Hythe. When we got off the ferry, Robin rode the train back to the terminal, but I walked the length of the pier so that I could find the plank we had had carved. [I should explain that a sand dredge ran into the pier a few years ago -- a case of drunk driving -- and there was a campaign to raise funds for the repair of the pier. That's how we came to have a plank of our very own.]

A quick stop at Waitrose for groceries; another ride through the forest; and here we are, safe and sound in Lyndhurst.


The Bug said...

Oh what a fun day! I love riding on ferrys, both fast & slow. But now I want to see a picture of you in your wedding finery :)

Sandra Leigh said...

Hmmm, I'll have to work on that. I think we were still in the Dark Ages (when we actually printed photos) back then.

Linda said...

Sounds like a marvelous day! I love ferry rides.

Anonymous said...

We love your plank! So sweet. xo
Jeanette & Jason

Anonymous said...

We love your names on the plank. So sweet! xo Jeanette & Jason

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