After breakfast, I wandered over to the main building with my computer to check e-mails, etc & found out that Osborne House on the Isle of Wight is only open on weekends at this time of year so if I didn’t do it today, I’d miss it. It’s where Queen Victoria spent a lot of her time with Prince Albert & her brood of 9 children & I particularly wanted to see it.
So off I went to Lymington & just missed a ferry so had to wait an hour for the next one. To make matters worse, we went onto daylight saving time today so I’d already lost an hour. The ferry was very expensive - £47.50 (over $70) & both Osborne House & Carisbrooke Castle, which I also wanted to see, closed at 4:00pm so I only had a few hours.
I figured that if I don’t spend it, my kids will, so just do it! The ferry ride was about 35 minutes & by the time I drove halfway across the island it was already after 1:00pm when I finally arrived. Fortunately, Osborne House didn’t impress me much so I could go through it quite quickly. It’s very ornate & just stuffed with art-work that Victoria & Albert collected – I think the children were very much relegated to the nurseries upstairs & were probably neither seen nor heard very much.
The gardens are lovely though & the view from the terraces over the Solent towards Portsmouth is magnificent. And, of course, it was another spectacular day.
I decided I had time for a quick visit to Carisbrooke Castle which is right in the middle of the island, about ½ an hour’s drive from Osborne House. It was much more my kind of place. It was just magic & I could have spent a lot longer there but I think I saw most of it, although very quickly.
Of course, it’s been there forever & is famous for its donkeys who have been used to turn the treadmill to raise water from the well since at least 1696. I was lucky enough to catch a demo by Jigsaw, one of the current residents.
It’s also where King Charles 1 was imprisoned in 1647 not long before he got his head cut off. He tried to escape several times by bribing guards & even tried climbing out his bedroom window but got stuck.
I then took the scenic route along the north coast of the island back to the ferry at Yarmouth & this time just caught a ferry, so things evened out through the day.
It’s 8:00pm so I’ll go over & send this off, then think about dinner.