Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day out in Hartlepool.

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Today I woke up to sun streaming in from between my curtains. It was perfect weather for a day out!
A while back we realized that a bus that comes through our town goes all the way to Hartlepool, so Davina and I went out to meet it today and happily road the bus all the way to the coast! It was very crowded.

When we got into Hartlepool, someone who was getting ready to leave muttered something about the bus getting ready to 'turn around now' so we took that as an indication to get off the bus. We hopped off and headed down the street in a likely direction, not really having looked at any maps other than the one of the quay-side itself.
...About half an hour of walking towards seagulls, and being unable to locate the tourist information office (the signs pointed towards...a round about?) I suddenly remembered that I have a smart phone with data, and we could just activate googlemaps! So maps it was, and we discovered that we were going in the opposite direction to the historical harbour and decided to walk through the industrial estate!

Soon we walked over a ridge and arrived at the promenade (1st picture)! It was lovely, and we could see the masts of the HMS Trincomalee, the oldest British war ship still afloat! We used the masts as navigation and shuffled through the houses til we arrived! First order of the day was lunch, because we'd been walking for an hour by this point! (left half, 2nd picture) The cafe was aboard a paddlewheeler as well! We felt very fancy, sitting there in the fantastic sunshine.

Next stop was the Museum of Hartlepool, with free entry. It had an excellent assortment displays, my favourite of which was the 'monastery' section with monks robes and chanting! (right half, 2nd picture).

Then it was on to the History Quayside and the ship! The entire feel of the place was sort of like Beamish museum but with a maritime theme. There were lots of displays inside the buildings, and set ups of typical homes with an overhead voice telling the story of the people displayed in them. There was even a little cafe where we stopped for tea and a game of chess (I'm bad at chess, fyi). Then we headed into the ship (3rd and 4th photos) with warnings to 'watch our heads'! The first level below deck was nearly high enough for me to walk...nearly! The decks below were way too low for me to walk upright in, or even lean over in...pretty much sitting on the floor was good. Walking down the steps through a 3.5 foot doorway into the copper-lined powder rooms let us stand upright though~ Excellent.

The ship was fantastic, and totally worth the 6 pounds 50 for the entrance fee! We found the bus stop again with relative ease (it was like 10 feet from the museum...we went the total wrong way!!) and made it back to the house~
It was a fantastic day out!
I'm glad the weather was so nice for a last little adventure before I have to fly to Canada on tuesday...eep!

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