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