Renovation project - Don't visit Portsmouth, UK in the dark!!!!!!
We have the long drive to Portsmouth today, we have said our goodbyes and there are storms forecast everywhere!
We leave a lot earlier than we had planned; we still remember the traffic jams from the other day! But for once in the UK we have a good journey, no bad traffic (I would like to say no road works and slow speed limits, but this is the UK, we’re just so pleased that we kept moving!)
So now we are in Portsmouth 4 hours early, we pull in at the ferry port but we know that Portsmouth has a lot of fantastic places to visit, and I really fancy a Chinese buffet, I still remember the one in Poole, we ask the guy working at the port if he can recommend one, and he tells us about a fantastic place, that does a carvery! (We’re not sure whether he was part owner as he really seemed keen on us going for a carvery!)
We explain that we really want a Chinese, so he directs us to a place but then says he’s not sure if it is Indian or Chinese, he was so friendly and nice, we didn’t mind his bad directions, we follow them and do not find either, so we Google Chinese buffets in Portsmouth and stick it in the Sat Nav, we drive along to a take away shop, thanks Google! I think we’ll wait a bit longer before going to eat.
So we decide to do a spot of sightseeing (it’s really dark but that shouldn’t be a problem) what is a problem is the sign posts, does this town not want you to find where you are going! We have a sat nav and still struggle, we finally end up at the historic dockyard to find the car parks are closed and the roads have to be paid for, it’s Sunday night and everything is shut, surely we don’t have to pay for the privilege of parking here. We spend a few minutes trying to look at the historic dock yard in the dark; we don’t recommend this as you really can’t see anything! We do see some lit up buildings over the harbour and assume they are closed shops.
Next we try to find Charles Dicken’s house, we again have the sat nav, which is a lot better than the road signs, but we do get confused as we drive in to a council estate with flats, surely he wasn’t born on an estate, no, there is one road that looks so pretty, but a big housing estate has been built around it, I really would not want to drive here during the tourist season!
We decide to find something to eat again and Google other Chinese buffets, there is one but the reviews are not the best, at this point we don’t care, we just want to eat. It turns out there is a massive shopping arcade with loads of restaurants overlooking the harbour (remember the lights we saw before, yes that is how close we were and there were no signs!) we find the Chinese buffet and order a table the waitress explains that the heating has just broken so it is not very warm, no problem, but what she means is the serving tables have broken and the food may not be hot! The idea of eating warm prawns before a potentially bumpy crossing does not appeal (she wouldn’t even give a discount on the food, yes we did ask).
We end up eating Spanish Tapas overlooking the harbour, which would be quite romantic until I point out that the we couldn’t see anything and it was raining, but the food was fantastic.
We get on the ferry and luckily miss the storms, we have a calm crossing and then a long drive home, but it’s a drive to enjoy, there are no traffic jams, it’s not raining and we both just relax back in to France, we love
The UK but we have found that stress levels raise, even when it is a visit to family that we want to do, we are really getting in to the French way of life and do not miss the fast paced (unless you are in a car) way of life in the UK