|- Aaand we're home!
||[Oct. 11th, 2015|12:17 pm]
Given the warnings about rough weather in the Bay of Biscay on the day we were to sail home from Bilbao, we both took seasickness tablets (warning: may cause drowsiness) and, whether for this or other reasons, both dozed through much of the day, in our little cabin full of sunshine.
Our last day in Spain had been heavy and overcast, but naturally the sun came out to let us know what we were leaving behind; we reached Portsmouth under grey skies, and a fine drizzle - ah, England! We spent the morning visiting the Mary Rose in Portsmoth's Historic Dockyard - and stayed altogether too long, and could happily have lingered all day. The museum has conventional galleries displaying a veriety of finds, but the most interesting part is divided in two by a stack of walkways, with windows on one side showing individual areas of the ship, complete with their contents: guns, a great stack of rope, the surgeon's cabin with his chest and jars of who knows what mixtures and remedies. On the other side, openings look out onto the great space of the ship's carcass, her timbers and decks run through with the great snakes of the conservation process - because thirty-odd years since the Mary Rose was raised from the seabed, conservation is still a work in progress, and by the next time we visit Portsmouth will have moved on to the next stage.
After this, the long drive home. Autumn has definitely arrived, and some of the foliage colours lit a flame on the motorway borders; the timing and the clouds conspired to give us a lingering sunset all the way up through Derbyshire and into Yorkshire, rosy and undramatic. Signs threatened a road closure because of floods, but by the time we reached it, the road was open again, so we abandoned our planned diversion and ploughed on into the roadworks. Oh, well...
And now we're home, doing autumnal things: Durham is buzzing with students (every night is party night), there are pumpkins in the shops, and it is Book Festival time. Both suitcases are unpacked and put away, and I can get the lid on the laundry basket. Excelsior!