Phew! I feel like an underwear in a washing machine. Life is running faster than I could have imagined and all I could do is to muster up enough strength to stand steady. Getting used to a place is not easy as it sucks out all that you were used to. For me, it sucked out blogging, and for a few days I could not gather my thoughts to put them on my laptop screen and neither could I raise my finger to open my Reader. So, apologies, dear friends! And I hope that all of you would understand!
So, coming back to the topic, one of my roomies here returned to India last week. Before going back he wanted to go to a nice, beautiful, peaceful place and the options were very less because:
- Usually October-March is considered off season here in UK as Winters is a terrible time to roam around.
- He had already seen London, Scotland, Blackpool and Lake District, all of which I still have to visit. So all these options were ruled out.
The only two options left were Wales and Isle Of Wight, both of which were again under an Off-season spell. Finally Wales was ruled out too and we ended up booking a car and Preeto(our TomTom aka GPS) for three days. Before going further, let me tell you about Isle of Wight as most of you must be in an impression that its the name of a Crater on the fifth moon of Saturn. Isle Of Wight is a small island on the Southern Tip of Great Britain. Its about 257 miles from Manchester which is about a 5 hours drive. The Isle is not accessible by road which means that you have to shove your car in a ferry and take it to the isle and vice versa. During summers there is a huge advanced booking for the ferry but we were fortunate due to our perfect timings!
This is the island as you can see in the map above. We went upto Portsmouth(upper right corner in the map) in the car and then took a ferry to Fishbourne, which is on the north east corner of the isle. Ferries also operate from Southampton and Lymington. Take your pick!
The Island is spread over an area of mere 380 sq Km and is famous for its beautiful beaches of Shanklin, Ryde, Sandown and Yarmouth. Besides the beaches there was so much to explore that we found it extremely difficult to keep up the pace. And all this during the off season! Two notable, must visit points of the diamond shaped island are the Culver cliff and The Needles. If you really want to understand the meaning of breathtaking, you must visit these two points on the island. The Needles is undoubtedly the most picturesque area of the island which looks like the end of the chalk coloured ridge which runs across the whole island.
The Culver Cliff on the other hand was used as a defence point as it was used to keep an eye on the vast ocean all around it. There were two nine inch guns kept there but the cliffs kept on eroding and most of it was lost. Now also, if you walk along the cliff, you can see the warning boards and the broken cliffs all around. I would suggest you to park your car at Yaverland beach and walk up the cliff from there towards the last point. Its a tiring walk of about half an hour but what you will see along the way is what you would never forget.
Finally, there were many points of interest like The Osborne house, Carrisbrooke Castle, the zoo and the Railway Museum which we missed because they were closed due to the off season. It was a beautiful memorable trip and there were a bunch of breathtaking scenes which I would never forget in my life. I leave you with a few attempts to capture them:
This is a view of the Culver Cliff from Sandown Beach. If you see closely, there is a pole like structure on top of the cliff. That is the Yarborough Monument at the edge of the cliff. That is where you could walk up the cliff. And you have to be there to understand how the vast expanse of the ocean looks like from there, sprinkled with ships and with shimmering spots of sunlight strewn here and there.
Well, this is what I was talking about. A few pictures of the view from the top of the cliff.
Here are a few pictures I took while I was walking up the cliff
The Yarborough Monument
We woke up a 5:30 in the morning on the second day and went to see the sunrise. It was freezing cold and apparently we were the only one on the Sandown beach. The island loves to sleep!
And that’s me, staring at the Sun.
I took this picture in Portsmouth from the upper deck of the ferry. The ferry was about to move towards the isle and I saw this building just next to the port. Isn’t this a beautiful place to live? Sitting in the balcony, sipping tea and looking at the vast expanse of the ocean and the huge ships moving around you!
View of Portsmouth as the Ferry moved away from it. By the way, Ferry seems to be a mild word for that ship. There were atleast 60 cars in it when it left Portsmouth!!!
Thats the “Ferry”!!!
The Needles was another fascinating point of the island. We reached there after the Sun had just jumped into the sea and the play of colours on the sky were seen to be believed. Here is a view of The Needles as we moved towards the edge of the cliff.
This picture was taken while we moved towards the Needles. Everyone was coming back after seeing the sunset and we were the only ones who were moving in the opposite direction. 🙂
That is the view of The Needles from the nearest point. It was quite dark by the time we reached there.
A few more random pictures:
This was taken while the ferry left the British mainland.
Taken at Ryde Beach. Are these Seagulls? They made an awful lot of noise.
The sleeping city in the morning.
An unknown castle on our way to a beach. Don’t know the name.
What a way to go up!!!
Water gushing up during a high tide. The foot of the Culver cliff which is accessible during the low tide and are great for an evening walk are completely immersed in water during a high tide.
This was taken from the ferry back to Portsmouth as the sun set behind the isle.
And finally I would like to dedicate this post to Preeto, our Tomtom(GPS) who was very patient with us and always guided us with her sweet voice even when we went off track atleast 5 times! We love you Preeto!!