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Posts Tagged ‘Portsmouth’

Pompey again

Posted by dan on March 9, 2012

Snapshots of Portsmouth, February and March 2012.

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Trabant – the cardboard car

Posted by dan on January 7, 2011

I remember seeing them in Eastern Europe, but that was quite some time ago – probably there aren’t that many of them anymore, if at all, on the roads of the Eastern-block countries. So I was really surprised when I came across a Trabant, the East German wunder-car, in Portsmouth UK. Despite the sign DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik – German Democratic Republic) it has a British number plate, and this might well be the only registered Trabant in the UK. Trabants have a two-cylinder and two-stroke engine, and the body is made of cardboard. So, as the sticker claims on this one, there is definitely no rust on the body.

More info on the Trabant:


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Great gift ideas – bananaguard

Posted by dan on December 10, 2010

With Christmas only a few weeks away, everybody is thinking of some good gift ideas. Here is one great idea from the brochure of Brittany Ferries – probably aimed at British visitors, as they are used to get everything in plastic. In the supermarkets in the UK tomatoes, apples, bananas, potato etc come in beautiful plastic boxes, holding no more than 2 or 3 pieces. You find similar in other countries as well, but not to the same extent. The bottom line is, if you have a banana, you have to protect it.

Travel Tip “Protects your banana when you’re on the move! The best guard in glorious yellow!”
official website:

See other great gift ideas:

See also blog posts: Brittany Ferries – crossing the Channel and Visiting Mont-Saint-Michel

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From Old Portsmouth along the Southsea coast

Posted by dan on December 3, 2010

The Spinnaker Tower from Old Portsmouth, UK

The Spinnaker Tower from Old Portsmouth

If you visit Portsmouth, a nice full day program could be a walk from the port of Old Portsmouth along the coast of Southsea and taking the bus back from the end of the walk. You could even make several day programs, depending on your interests, as there are an amusement park, an aquarium, the D-Day museum, a covered swimming pool with health-fitness facilities, lively Albert Pier, a small lake with pedal-boats and swans found along the way, and of course the beach. Although the beach is not fine sand but rather gravely, it is still a popular seaside destination for locals and visitors in the summer months. There are many hotels, B&B, restaurants and pubs all along the coast and in the center.

Other program ideas:

Travel TipA ‘walk around Southsea Common’ is a much shorter walk:

Portsmouth’s Official Visitor Website:

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Leaving Pompey

Posted by dan on December 1, 2010

The time has come, I had to leave Portsmouth again, and now for a longer time. I had to catch the Eurostar from London to Paris, but a sudden and unexpected snow fall almost canceled my trip. It was my mistake, I should have booked an earlier bus to allow more time in London – maybe it is not snow, but you never know; could be an accident on the motorway, a strike or anything else. The driver was unusually friendly and reassuring, and I did make it just about on time to St. Pancras. But there I found the train services were disrupted and my train was late. Every 10-15 minutes the loud-speakers announced that we can board in a couple of minutes drawing big laugh and applause from the audience cramped in the waiting area. I cannot complain, the Belgian train was several hours late already and we set off before them at 13:33 , instead of 12:29 as we were scheduled to. Crossing snow covered fields I didn’t know how lucky I was. Not only was there a snowy Paris waiting for me, but I could actually get there – many Eurostar services got canceled the following days and even air traffic was effected.

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Remembering all – Armistice Day

Posted by dan on November 23, 2010

Poppy flowers on Southsea Beach, a D-Day embarcation point

Poppy flowers on Southsea Beach, a D-Day embarkation point

Although my great grand father died on the wrong side in World War I, being sent as a K und K soldier to the Russian front to fight for the Austrian empire, he was just as a victim as soldiers on the other side or any other innocent people who died, and continue dying, in wars. And although no poppy flowers grow on the streets of cities and the victims of wars are not always uniformed, as far as I am concerned, they all are remembered.

In the UK you could see people wearing the poppy flowers weeks before and weeks after the 11th of November. Chinese officials complained about the use of poppy as it reminded them the Opium wars, but I can assure them this is not the same poppy. A handful of Muslim extremist made a bit of noise, but the Muslim community in general understands that most British people think about this event and the victims of wars the same as I or most of us do. Even we, thousands of miles away from conflict zones, are victims of these same wars, even if in much less drastic ways.

“Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.

In the UK after the end of WWII, most Armistice Day events were moved to the nearest Sunday and began to commemorate both World Wars. The new commemoration was named Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day. Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are now commemorated formally in the UK.”


Images of Armistice Day around the world:

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On the road again…

Posted by dan on November 9, 2010

Dan in Old PortsmouthAfter a 4-month break it was again time to go for a walkabout – first to one of my favorite locations, Paris, and then onto visiting friends in the UK. I’m staying in Portsmouth at the moment, but the plans don’t end here. Based mostly in Vienna these days, it won’t be difficult to revisit France, the UK, Italy, Spain or wherever I feel like to go – when I feel like to go.

Sitting in the harbour of Old Portsmouth from where the “first” Australians sailed out. The area reminds me of the Rocks and Circular Quay, and the striking modern structure of the Spinnaker Tower behind is like the Opera House in a way. Still, it is a long way from Sydney… and not even that close to Edinburgh. France, however, is just across the water.

Facts about Portsmouth

· Portsmouth is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1090 detailing Bocheland (Buckland), Copenore (Copnor) and Frodentone (Fratton).

· In 1775 Captain Cook arrived in Portsmouth aboard the Endeavour after circumnavigating the world.

· In 1787 Captain Bligh of the Bounty set sail from Portsmouth.

· In 1787 the first fleet of transport taking convicts to Botany Bay left Portsmouth in HMS Sirius – and the following year set up the first colony in Australia.

· Southsea beach and Portsmouth Harbour were military embarkation points for the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.

More info about the history of Portsmouth:

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