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Today we drove down to Southampton from Yorkshire for our overnight stay at the DeVere Grand Harbour hotel before embarking on Oriana tomorrow and enjoying the Grand Event.

The original plan was that we would drive swiftly down in good weather, then either check in or just leave our luggage, and enjoy the rest of the day; we had been thinking about going over to the Isle of Wight (which we know well) in the late afternoon. At this point you should have images of gentle strolls along Cowes Promenade in warm sunshine, because we certainly did, followed by finding a pleasant little restaurant in Cowes town and enjoying dinner there. In fact, it started raining before we reached Leicester Forest East services on the M1, and it hasn’t stopped yet, so scrub any thoughts of the the Isle of Wight.

Fortunately we were able to check in at the hotel as soon as we arrived (about 1:30). We then took some time to rest, drink a cup of tea and explore the hotel a bit. Then we headed out, in the rain, to check out the walls. Well, I can report that mainly they were wet. We also visited the Tudor House Museum, and we think that’s one of the best small museums we’ve ever been to – we had an excellent visit. If you go there, make sure you take one of the electronic audio guides – they’re free, and they do add a lot to the information available. We enjoyed the whole house, but I have to say that we were particularly impressed with the restored Elizabethan garden. Then we did a bit more wall-walking (still wet) until we reached Bargate, where we turned south and walked down the length of Hight Street. Southampton struck us as a curious mix of genuinely historic and fascinating, and tacky. I’d like to visit it again and see more.

As we emerged opposite Town Quay we saw MSC Opera slipping slowly past from her berth at the City Terminal. We didn’t go across to Town Quay, however, as by this time we really had got very wet and we both felt that getting back to the hotel was the best plan of action. We’ve decided to eat there this evening – we just can’t face the weather again, especially as we think we’ll have to be prepared to get wet tomorrow. So here we are, hatches battened firmly down, cups of tea being drunk and eyelids being propped open – it was an early start this morning.

2 Responses to “P&O Grand Event: the day before”

  1. Gary says:

    Yes it’s wet in Southampton, we arrived at 1:30pm but at a different hotel to you (the DeVere was full when we were booking) though we can see city terminal from our window so we’ll wake to the site of Oriana waiting for us and you and everyone else. It’ll be a good day I’m sure what ever the weather, we’re British we’ll make it so 🙂

  2. […] first  few posts were preliminaries: travelling to Southampton the day before and what we did when we got there, then another post covering activities before embarking on The […]

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