Day out IOW

12 Jun

“IOW”  you ask?  Isle of Wight, the small island with the tropical microclimate just south of Southampton with a view of France (if you use your imagination) across the Channel to the south.  We spent our Jubilee week holiday bumping around IOW and the next few posts will be showing you around to some of our adventures on the island.

What’s this you say?  I already did an island day out series after we went to Skye?  Yeah, so?  I like islands.

We hopped a morning Red Funnel ferry from Southampton to Cowes.  Tip #1: Priority boarding is totally worth the extra bit of cost.  You get on first, get a seat of your choice, and get off first as well.  Sweet.  Not sure how the chickens in that truck down there were feeling, but we enjoyed the ride.   Tip #2: If you don’t show up 30 minutes before boarding, your priority ticket will not be honored.  We learned that the hard way coming back — we got on the ferry, but were the last but two cars to go up the ramp.  But no worries, on this morning starting out, everything was sunny.

Well, not exactly sunny, but it wasn’t pouring rain.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this usually-warmer-than-the-rest-of-England island, but have to admit that our first view (here from the hotel garden) was not as dramatic or inspiring as our view in Cornwall. But the fragrance of flowers permeates the island — pretty amazing.

We walked from that garden high point down a zig zag road (called “Zig Zag Road” to the vast amusement of the children) and along the esplanade.  This view looks back up to the previous photo’s vantage point, up there in the trees.

Friendly neighborhood goddess of health.  The Isle of Wight is known for its climate and Ventnor in particular was famous as a health resort during the Victorian Era.

There’s a bit of faded glory about the town, but some views retain their beauty — here’s the Ventnor Cascade.

I thought we might see dolphins, whales, or Channel sharks.  Instead, we saw this.  Hm.

But, what are you asking now?  It looks so overcast?  You thought all our UK vacations were freakishly drenched in sunshine and rainbows?  Or had nothing more than a romantic mist?  IOW broke our streak, and defied all the rules of island vacations, by raining most of the trip.  However, even in the rain there were still joyful surprise sightings:

We parked in the middle of a one lane bridge, in the middle of the road, to watch this gorgeous family.  No one even minded, the other drivers and cyclists were all watching, too.

The most unexpected win of the whole stay has to do with this flower:

Do you know what it is?  Can you guess?  One hint only:  I have some fantastic new recipes.

For the rest, you’ll have to wait.  IOW, here we go …

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9 Responses to “Day out IOW”

  1. greatscott3 June 12, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    we came thisclose to going to IOW in January. seeing your photos i’m sad we didn’t go – but happy that we didn’t go at that time of year. the english weather is definitely unpredictable but january would have been brutal! ha! and…the flower is allium! i only learned that this weekend when standing in a friend’s garden which was full of it. gorgeous, huh?

    • Monique June 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Those purple flowers are amazing! And now whenever I see them I think of gorgeous, gorgeous garlic. (More on that in another post!) I was surprised to find June so cold and rainy on the Isle of Wight but we didn’t let it stop us from having fun. Great place for families. (And people who love trains. More on that later, too!) 😉

  2. haitiruth June 12, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I like islands, too! Thanks for the report and the beautiful photos!

    • Monique June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      But this island is so cold and damp compared to yours! Sigh …

  3. Jeanne June 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    You’re showing me parts of the world I wouldn’t otherwise get to see.

    • Monique June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      All part of the plan. And you’re showing me books I wouldn’t otherwise get to see. 😉

      • Jeanne June 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

        A good deal!

  4. Zazzy June 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I’ve read about some of these places – or rather they’ve been featured as backdrops in some books which I’ve read – and I love your photos. I did not know that was what Allium looked like! And the swans…. the first time I saw wild swans was in Yellowstone and I remember being stupidly surprised. I had never thought of them as wild birds!

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