Teresa had to get back to work in Tokyo, but I still had a few days off to go visit my very good friend Mike! He is currently stationed at Mildenhall Air Base. Here he is picking me up at Heathrow International Air Port!
We had to take the famous London "Tube" or subway to our hotel room. The "Tube" is very old...the cars are not very big, it's pretty bumpy, and the stations are also pretty dated. It was very very cool! You also learned really quickly what the always present announcement "Mind the Gap" meant!
Here is a shof of Oxford Street, just a block away from our hotel. We stayed at the "Victory Services Club", which is a very old hotel run by the British Military, for military folks.
There were so many Christmas lights and decoration everywhere. The number one theme seemed to be "Ice Age" the movie.....
All the buildings along the streets looked like something out of Victorian England...like the kind you see in the movie "Mary Poppins"...and all pretty clean and brightly light.
There were double-decker busses everywhere, old bently taxi-cabs, and bright Christmas lights...it was great!
One of the side streets off of Oxford.
Tons and tons of double-deckers. Only the tour buses were open on the second floor....
The next day we took a train to Portsmouth to look at old English ships of war. First we had to stop by one of the side train stations and see a very famous Harry Potter landmark. On the path above and behind me is where Harry was given his train ticket by Hagrid.
Here is Mike in front of the famous "Platform 9 and three quarters!
And then me....the trolley behind me is half buried in the wall...
A cool shot of the two of us together. A nice porter took this for us.
The english trains are very easy to ride, very clean and comfortable. And it was pretty easy to get out tickets figured out too!
Mike points out something on our trip to Portsmouth Harbor, in the southern tip of England.
A view of typical english houses along an english street...it was very very cool.....:)
A english trolley of food and beverages on an english train! Wish we were headed to Hogwarts!
Here we are pulling into Portsmouth City.
We got off the train and headed to the shipyards. It is still used by the Royal Navy today. This is a shot of the first all metal, steam powered frigate "Warrior". She was built in 1860, had a top speed of 17.5 knots.
Across the street from the shipyard were these old taverns and resturants. All had awesome menu's of good hearty grub.
Here I am in front of the HMS Warrior, the most feared warship in the world, in the 1880's and 1890's.
Some stats on the HMS Warrior...crew of 700, 420 feet long, armored central citadel for all the main cannon emplacements, etc.
Here I am, steering the HMS Warrior into enemy cannonfire! (Or not...the Warrior was never in a battle....:)
Captain Harris watches the scurvy sea dogs work around him.
I have no idea what the words mean....but I look good by the wheel!
Below decks, where the crew ate and relaxed. Tables are inbetween the cannons.
A cannon near the rear of the ship is stowed away for sailing. This was just a small 68pounder. That means that it shot cannonballs that weighted 68 pounds each.
The captains mess. The Captain of the Ship at to the right, worked and did reports in the middle, and slept on the left...not in the picture.
A 110 pounder...along with the gear used to move the cannon around, load and clean it.