Day 05 02-05-2014 Fri Winchester

A longish drive today – 159 miles from Ashford to Winchester via Portsmouth, mostly along motorways , taking about 4 hours. A long weekend begins today so traffic was fairly heavy later in the day. It never ceases to amaze me how tolerant, patient, polite and kind English motorists are even under these conditions – a very refreshing experience.

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Our near-new rental car

We stopped in Portsmouth to have lunch and to see HMS Victory – Horatio Lord Nelson’s flagship at the battle of Trafalgar. The admission included a ferry tour of the harbour, mostly looking at British warships in port – frigates, destroyers and one old Harrier aircraft carrier.

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The banana boat (literally)
The banana boat (literally)
The Spinnaker Tower
The Spinnaker Tower

IMG_0065 IMG_0069 IMG_0073Prominent also was HMS Warrior, the first iron-clad warship built in 1860. It displaces 10,000 tonnes – pretty big.

HMS Warrior
HMS Warrior

IMG_0221Touring the famous Victory was a stunning experience, and I have the cut and bumps on my head to prove it. It’s a little easier for shorter people.

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where I hit my head
where I hit my head

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Nelson's uniform
Nelson’s uniform
Nelson slept in this - a coffin
Nelson slept in this – a coffin
the Head
the Head

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Royal Marine uniform
Royal Marine uniform

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the Hold
the Hold

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We are staying in Easton, a village on the eastern outskirts of Winchester. We did a short walk through the village and were surprised to find that many of the houses were thatched, something fairly new to us.

IMG_0234 IMG_0236 IMG_0237 IMG_0242 IMG_0243 IMG_0244 IMG_0246Today I finally managed to get some half-decent shots of canola fields with their yellow blossoms. As I may have mentioned that, although English roads are generally good, they provide almost no opportunity pull over to look at the scenery. Strange, when there is SO much of it here to see.

IMG_0249 IMG_0021Speaking of roads, I find even the twisty bits are easy and safe to navigate. What I mean is no surprises due to tightening radius as you progress through the curve.

Speaking of curves, that reminds me of my early days as a programmer. I was working for the University of Waterloo’s IT department (then called the Computer Centre), and IBM had been kind to them by providing equipment next to gratis. In return they asked for some road design software to be written for their customer. This required being able to configure road curves using a spiral. I used mathematical formulas for spirals given to me by my colleague Ron H. After the software was delivered to the provincial roads department, the engineers there complained that only a mathematician would design a spiral that way; not something a civil engineer would use.

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