09 December 2009

Getting Frosted In Portsmouth, South England

It’d be at least one more month before I’m gonna start jet-traveling again. While I’m kinda excited to come up with hopefully renewed ideas and blogging materials, I can’t help but feeling the urge of slotting in at least another blog entry about another place that I went to during my trip to Europe earlier this year. May I present to you…..

... the Portsmouth, South England...!!

Portsmouth is a city located in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the South coast of England. It is the United Kingdom's only island city and is located on Portsea Island. I went there on a damn cloudy and windy and freezing cold day so I gotta be excused for all the lame and forced smiles in ALL the pictures that I put up here. Believe me, my visit to Portsmouth was the reason why I had to reconsider celebrating Christmas in London next year. I don’t think I can survive even a single winter day in England. 

The bus that I took from Guildford had taken me right to the center of the recently developed area known as Gunwharf Quays. It was within a walking distance to the iconic Spinaker Tower and Gunswharf Quays Shopping Centre. The rooftop of the bus station building itself is a good open platform from where you can view a major part of the harbor area.

I had come to realize that the architecture of the buildings in Portsmouth is quite different from most other cities in England. I’d say they represent the modernized architectural features but in the same time maintaining the typical English (brown- bricked) architecture that are commonly seen all over England.
Sumptuous restaurants and cafes with eye-catching façade are scattered all over the city which was quite an advantage for a non-muslim like me. Unfortunately, gotta tell you that halal foods are not quite easy to find in Portsmouth. It'd be just a good idea to tapau around..
I happened to see this when I was running for cover from the worsening rain and I compulsively came in. I am not sure if it was plainly the usual curiosity or because of the clearly stated ‘Free Admission’. LOL!

But then, I later realized how lucky I was to have come in. I got to learn things that had never come anywhere within my limited thinking ability. The expo emphasized very much on the fact that we, humans have never changed from the time we were created. There is no such thing as evolution.

Of so many things that are said about evolution of human genes inside the expo room, I found this quite spiritual. Yeah, we all came from Adam and Eve. Errr, it’s in the Bible kan..?

So, it is here where the body of Darwin and all his crap has been 'buried'.

Portsmouth, besides being one of the major ports in England is quite popular for being a shopping hub. The Gunwharf Quays itself is full of shops offering a vast variety of goods to choose from. You know you're going in the right direction when you come through this underground passage. It is the only public entrance to the Gunwharf Quays area.
And the Gunwharf Quays Shopping Centre is just a perfect place to fulfill your shopaholic drives.
Oxford Street in London might be a popular shopping area but I think the crowds are just so sickening. Gunwharf Quays has that relaxing atmosphere that makes your shopping more.. easier and hassle-free. I bought at least a pair of T-Shirts in Gunwharf Quays. Errrr, I bought NOTHING in Oxford Street.
Shop owners in Gunwharf Quays have their own unique way of naming their shops. If they are brands, then they are not familiar to me. I still find them quite amusing.

Errrr, Fat Face..? Hmmm... I've got a fat face.Hehe. Some people used to call  me 'baby' for it.. Ahaks!

And most of them are repeated words.

I wonder if the idea of naming Tiger Tiger had come from ‘Hari Hari Mau’..

If you happen to come to Gunwharf Quays, don’t forget to check out any of its toilets. They were designed to keep you wanting to come back again and again just for its beautiful interior and aromatic ambience. And while thery are hundred times better then most of our public toilets here in Malaysia, the admission is FOC.
I didn’t get to come to the toilet when I went to the Harrods, so I couldn’t make any comparison. But still, the toilet in Gunwharf Quays is one of the most enchanting toilets that I’d ever been in any of my traveling trips. Believe me; if they would ever open those toilets for a crash-in accommodation in Portsmouth, I don’t mind opting for it over a hotel room. LOL!

One of the must-do things in any of your visit to Portsmouth is to do a boat tour around the shipping harbor. Believe me, you won’t regret it. It is one of the best ways to check out what the city is best known for – Naval Port. It really is a very hassle-free business. Just buy a ticket from the booth here. (5 pounds..?)

And head on to the docking jetty where a hop-on boat would be ready to bring you into a 30-minutes tour.

Portsmouth Harbour is the docking harbour for dozens of naval as well as commercial ships. They come in different sizes and functions.

I found the boat tour was actually quite informative. One of the tour-guides was ‘loud’ on the loud-speaker providing both historical and contemporary information on each of the major ships that we passed by.

Portsmouth Harbour for me is a vast display of British Naval superiority that signals out to other countries not to mess with them and I was glad for being there to see it for myself first-handedly.

The most famous ship in the Portsmouth Harbour is probably there HMS Warrior 1860. HMS was the first iron-hulled, armor-plated warship that was built for the Royal Navy in response to the first ironclad warship the French La Gloire that was launched a year earlier.

When completed in October 1861, Warrior was by far the largest, fastest, most heavily-armed and most heavily-armoured warship the world had ever seen. She was almost twice the size of La Gloire and thoroughly outclassed the French ship in speed, armour, and gunnery. When she eventually became obselete, it was put out of the fighting unit in 1883 and has since become a museum ship in Portsmouth Harbour.

Portsmouth is also one of the major gateways to Britain for a number of passenger liners from other countries such as France and Spain. Deep down in my heart, I hoped to be someday getting on board of one of them and voyaging all the way to Espanyola. Another dream of a kampung boy. HAHA! But who knows..? :-P

We were brought to ride past the Spice Island where, according to the tour guide, the very first bands of spices had landed in the England soil for the very first time. I wonder if some of them had been brought in from their years on colonization in Malaysia.

Out of quite a number of landmarks in Portsmouth, Spinaker Tower is probably the most prominent one. It wasn’t open when I was there so I didn’t get to go up to its viewing deck. But still, I had a good time taking pictures with it in the background

I had seen a postcard in one of the souvenir shops that I dropped by inside the Gunwharf Quays Shopping Centre and didn’t buy it. I mean, why would I when I could actually take exactly the same postcard picture for myself?

I could even take a picture WITH ME inside the it. Holla.

As much as I liked to stay longer, I had to say good bye to Portsmouth before I get frosted in its sickeningly cold windy air. Hopping back into a bus to bring me back to Guildford had brought to me such a great physical relief. May be going there on a summer day is a better idea. Brrrrrrr.....


chegu carol said...

i drool looking at all your pictures jipp. it will be long before i can set foot on that place :)
biasalah kalau bukan jalan single2 lagi...

baru aircond pun sa tia buli tahan, apa lagi weather yg smpai below 5 degree...ingat mau pulang saja kali sa tu kalu begitu LOL!

chegu carol said...

oh btw, kalau ko pi travel lagi, beli lah sa fridge magnet ah... :D

Lizeewong said...

ok Jipp, u got to spill it to me now. What do u do??? Are you a secret agent? Traveling around the world on a secret mission? hehe..Jeles ba kan.

oh ya, sa pun mau fridge magnet ah, ikut2 chegu kay hehe...:)

Anonymous said...
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JIPP said...

Hehe. Thanks Carol. I still believe it's all in us bah. If we have the 'niat' to go places, we'll get there as long as we go for it. Yang penting beli tiket dulu and set your mind to go. hehe. Liz, I'm nobody. just another worker to the biggest company in Malaysia whose boss (Mr. N) doesn't even known the existence of. Haha. While I've been dreaming of travelling to NZ ever since I watched the Lord of The Ring and still cannot afford for it, ko pla tinggal sana. So, I'm the one who's supposed to be jelous. Hehe. WOkey, keep reminding me of the fridge magnet k. I usually end up buying nothing when i travel because I hv no idea what to buy. Hehe.


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