|3 Glasgow, Scotland|
|Hamburg, Germany 4|
Disembarkation: Southampton, England - Saturday May 9th, 2015:
We sailed into Southampton just as the sun was rising over some of the container ships in the harbor. We docked at the Queen Elizabeth dock, the farthest possible dock from the port's entrance. As we handled our own luggage, leaving the ship was quite simple, but I kept looking around for an immigration official to show my passport to. But apparently having them checked on board before we landed in Ireland sufficed for entry into the European Union, and we rolled out of the terminal completely unchecked by any officials to begin our trek into Southampton.
Having visited Southampton on previous cruises, I had a rough map of the basic layout of the city in my head. Monika had the address of the Ibis hotel, and we figured it was near the waterfront, but way on the other side of the harbor from the Queen Elizabeth dock where our ship was tied up. But we figured that by following the shoreside road we would not have to roll our luggage up any hills, and in fact the sidewalk turned out to be so flat that we could push our suitcases along on all four wheels rather than dragging them, which was much easier on our wrists.
Pausing for pictures of the old wall and the occasional rest stop, it took us about an hour and a quarter to cover the 3 miles or so to the hotel. It was still way too early to check in, but they kindly stored our luggage in a locked room for the day. Thus relieved of our burdens, we went into the city a block or two to find the bus station and purchase tickets for the trip to Heathrow airport the next morning, and then we were free to do some sightseeing.
We curled into the main downtown area to Above The Bar street, followed it to the old city gate which was barred each night, and then continued downhill onto High Street. Although it was shortly after 9, a string of pavilions containing food vendors , trinket and clothing shops, and even children's rides were being erected in the center of the broad, pedestrianized boulevard.
Saving that all for later, we forged on eastward to the Solent Sky aviation museum which I longed to revisit as they had a Short Sunderland flying boat inside that you can go into and look around . Southampton was also the site of development for the Supermarine Schneider Trophy racers, which ultimately developed into the Spitfire fighter which played such a key role in the Battle of Britain, and both a beautiful Spitfire and a replica of the Supermarine racers were on display.
I was in 7th Heaven, of course, but Monika reminded me that although I could read it all, I didn't have to memorize it by heart! (Thanks for the original joke, Gustl!) Still, I spent a good two hours at the aviation museum before we wended our way back to High Street, having lunch along the way. There, I was amused to see "PoundLand", "Pound World", and the "£ .99" stores, apparently three competing British-style "dollar stores". Since you never know what's in those, we wandered through two of them and picked up sandwiches and drinks for dinner as well as some snacks for dessert. Cheap eats!
By the time we got back to the Ibis it was 2 pm and we had been on our feet since 7:30 that morning, so "our dogs were barking" as our friend Neville would put it (Thanks for the original joke, Nev!). We were glad to sign in and then put our feet up while we surfed the Internet, read a book, ate, and finally worked on a crossword puzzle until my eyes just closed of their own accord around 8:30 and we called it a day.
Southampton, England to Hamburg, Germay - Sunday May 10th, 2015:
Sunday May 10: We had breakfast at a fast food place near the hotel and caught the 9:45 bus from Southampton to Heathrow. Because Sunday morning traffic was very light we made it in 2 hours even with a short stop in Wessex, where they had a statue of Alfred of Wessex, the King of England back in Viking times.
Arriving at Heathrow, we cooled our heels in Terminal 5 until our plane left around 4 pm. Luckily, our flight was a direct flight to Hamburg and we had a strong tailwind, so we arrived in under 2 hours. From the airport we took the S-Bahn to Ohlsdorf, dropped our stuff in our hotel room, and were picked up by Detlef and Susanna for a late dinner at Heinke and Gustl's place. We had a nice time chatting with everyone over dinner, but then as a bonus they also drove us back to the hotel as we were very tired, and we collapsed into bed.
|3 Glasgow, Scotland|
|Hamburg, Germany 4|
|Map of Transatlantic Cruise||Map of Bike Trip|