The Kobylkas in Europe

Written by 9:41 pm 2008

On to Eastborne!

We drove from Crediton to Eastborne yesterday.  Long day of driving and getting lost – but finally made it.

First we stopped in Porstmouth to see the HMS Victory  – an amazing battleship from the 1800s.  One level was completely filled with cannons – 13 on each side.  Was interesting to imagine life on the ship. I’m glad to be living in modern times! We also saw the HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose.

We stopped for lunch in Portsmouth at an old stone church that had been converted to a Pub. When you walk in you can still see the stained glass windows on the side and the alter in the front and the balcony with the pipe organ. But on the side there is a bar with tons of taps for beers and plenty of bottles of hard liquor on hand.   In front of the altar is a large screen television with Wimbledon on (it is playing *everywhere* here),  then in the front and back are about 6 gambling machineswith neon lights flashing.  Very odd mix. But even odder – the woman barkeep asked me pointedly to remove my hat – as if I was being disrespectful in the church/pub with a hat on.  geesh!

We arrived in Eastborne around 8:00pm and our first impression was that is was kind of strange. We saw several houses boarded up in disrepair, the streets were dirty, a few rowdy people roaming around.  Our B&B is right across the sreet from the sea – and the street is just one hotel and B&B after another.  Although there were no people around. It was almost eerie.

We found a pub though and had a good meal and a pint of beer which made everything seem OK.  Finally back at the B&B around 10:30 – even Alex begged Rich to turn the light out and go to sleep.

Today – I took Alex and headed to the beach and Rich took David and headed for history. Alex and I can take only so much history.  We had a great time on the beach – me resting, Alex throwing rocks and swimming. It was a pleasantly warm absolutely beautiful day. We were very happy to have crowds at this point. Someone told us that in August they typically have over 30,000 people over a weekend. We have been very fortunate to miss the crowds and have great weather.

After awhile on the beach we headed to “Pirate Island” – which turned out to be a wonderful play area for Alex  – pool, sand, pirate ship and miniature golf. But the best for me was grass, shade trees and a comfortable chair. I read my book and Alex played and we were both content. Afterwards a stop at the beach for ice cream and back to the B&B.

I will leave it to Rich to describe the days adventure of the history buffs —

David and I had a fabulous day that began with visiting Pevensey Castle, site of the landing of William the Conqueror in 1066. Mostly ruins today, the castle is surrounded by walls that date back to 200 A.D. The castle was laid seige to on four different occasions. We then headed to Battle and toured the battlefield where the last Anglo-Saxon king (Harold) was defeated by William (a Norman). A terrific site as you walk around the entire battlefield accompanied with an audio device that takes you through the day long battle. Our final stop was Bodiam Castle which, while a beautiful structure, does not have the violent history of our other two stops. Simply an ideal day and the weather was gorgeous. Now, off to a pub!

Aboard the HMS Warrior built in 1860. The precursor to the modern battleship.

David trying on replicas of armor from the 1540s. Alex tried some armor too and the helmet became stuck on his head and we needed assistance to remove it!

The HMS Victory, flag ship of the British fleet that defeated the French at Trafalgar.

Penvesey Castle, landing site of William the Conqueror’s invasion in 1066.

The view William’s troops had of King Harold’s army as they prepared their assault.

Site where King Harold (the last Anglo-Saxon king) fell, shot in the eye with an arrow and then dismembered.

Bodiam Castle

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