We were on holiday on the Isle of Wight not long ago and were taken to a a place called Ryde. Here, they have a fully functional steam railway!
The steam railway is only 5 miles long, which is only a small fraction of the once stretched over 55 miles long.
How did it all begin?
The railway first opened in 1862 between Cowes and Newport. However, it was not until 1900 that the island received its second railway and the rail complex was complete.
Sadly after 2 world wars, their economic status was questioned and as a result lines to Bembridge, Freshwater and the very last line opened to Ventnor, all closed. This was in 1950.
Just 15 years later, the lines between Cowes, Ventnor to Ryde were the ones now under threat. But by now, this line was unique and was becoming a tourist attraction for fascinated historians. There was interest from several parties trying to protect was was left.
Around about 2 weeks ago, we visited the popular Osborne house on the Isle of Wight down at the south of England. It took us 12 hours to get to the Isle of Wight in total as we were part of a coach party.
Click on the videos above to see the grounds and house in video.
Bit of a back story…
“Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the Osborne estate on the Isle of Wight in 1845. There they created a private home away from court life. Victoria used Osborne for over 50 years, entertaining foreign royalty and visiting ministers, finding solace there after Albert’s death in 1861. Today, many of the rooms are still filled with original furniture and works of art, while the planting in the grounds is to Albert’s designs.”
This house wasn’t built for them but was owned by a previous family – the Blachford family. The estate came into their hands in 1705 and from 1774-1781, Robert Pope Blachford extended and adapted the existing house and added a walled kitchen garden.
At the time when Victoria and Albert were looking for a seaside resort to relax in, Lady Isabella Blachford owned the Osborne estate. The happy couple leased and then bought the estate in 1845 and 3 years later demolished it because was too small.
If you would like to download a plan of Osborne, click the link below which has been provided by the English Heritage site.
Albert died in 1861 away from Osborne house, but Queen Victoria died here in her quarters in 1901.
None of her successors wanted to take on the upkeep so in 1902, Edward VII gave the estate to the nation. Only part of the ground floor was public in 1904 as other parts were transformed into a convalescent home for officers.
In 1903, part of the estate was convertred into a college for naval cadets but years later in 1921, it was closed as Royal Naval College Dartmouth took over.
“In 1933 many of its ‘temporary’ buildings were demolished and thereafter a succession of short-term tenants occupied the site.” – EH.
In 1945, Queen Elizabeth II unlocked Victoria and Alberts private rooms after being locked for 44 years. In 1977 the rooms were redecorated.
In 2012 Queen Victoria’s private beach opened and then in 2014, £1.65 million was spent refurbishing the Swiss Cottage.
“My family and I went on a beautiful cruise to Norway in May 2019. I didn’t keep a journal like I did for our holiday in Italy but I still have the beautiful pictures and experiences to share with you!
We travelled from Newcastle and after travelling for roughly 36 hours and 548 miles, we made it into Norwegian territory. We first visited Bergen.” – Part 1.
We also visited…
This small village is located on the shore of the Eid Fjord, an inner branch of the large Hardangerfjorden which connects other villages such as Ulvik and Brimnes.
We were here briefly because we were going to be visiting a cider farm a 35 minute from Eidfjord.
Hardanger Juice and Sider Factory – Lekve Gard, Ulvik.
We were given a tour of the place and a taster session alongside a history of making the alcohol and where their ingredients came from.
A truly amazing bridge…
On the way home we had to drive on the Worlds longest suspension bridge, it has room for both cyclists and pedestrians so no matter which mode of transport you choose, you can still enjoy how beautiful this bridge is.
The bridge is 1380 metres long, which translated to feet is 4527 long.
This bridge connects to the Bu Tunnel which actually has a roundabout within the tunnel, and in total from start to finish the tunnels length equals to 7,510-metre, 24,640 ft, 4.67 miles long.
I never thought I would be writing about a tunnel and bridge before on my blog but here we are haha.
The roundabout was added to the tunnel in 2013, 28 years after the tunnel was originally opened.
I had the idea for this post during my July project: Nature and Us. However as I couldn’t get it to fit in I wanted to make it a separate post all together.
Production of food and drink is a multi billionaire business. Eating is a basic human necessity and yet, despite all the food to go around, all of the food produced each year and the food available on the shelves, millions go hungry.
According to the BBC, as of 2020, 700 million people are going hungry. That number is increasing every year.
A meeting was held in 2019 by a branch of the UN and talks were held about food waste what needs to be done to make changes.
“Deeply concerned that approximately one third of the food produced annually in the world for human consumption, equivalent to some 1.3 billion tonnes and representing an approximate value of 990 billion United States dollars, is lost or wasted, while 821 million people suffer from undernourishment.”
Why is so much food wasted?
Well, many reasons could factor but one answer is it goes off before it is used. Life is busy so when you get home after a long day on your feet you are not in the mood to make food for yourself.
There are recipes out there that can use few ingredients and take no more than 15 mins to make.
I love it even down to the deflated air mattress, the grass in your crocs and the smell of the dew on the grass when you wake up.
We have had so many childhood holidays in tents and caravans. When I say caravans, I don’t mean a static caravan. I mean a tourer caravan. There would be 4 of us in that caravan and our small dog Rollie. At times it was very snugg!
We have travelled all over England, Scotland and Wales in caravans, often staying overnight in a layby if it was a long journey.
Every year we go to a friends farm in South Wales. They are an older couple and we help them out by clearing the polytunnel of weeds or helping clear the land of dead trees.
There’s usually us and 2 other families that go each year. This year it was just us and one other family.
We swam in the sea, saw beautiful waterfalls and trekked through forests. We got to visit places we had never been to before and the weather was beautiful, I got sunburn on my shoulders!
17 days of fun. It flew by!
As you can see, I took lots of photos…
Sorry for the short post, I will be honest. I haven’t been feeling very well this week. I am in quite a bit of pain so I haven’t been in the mood to write or sit at my PC for very long but I do hope to get back to writing regularly soon.
Deserts. Many when they think of deserts just think of the heat, maybe camels, mirages of water, and the seemingly never ending hills of sand. But there are people and animals that thrive in those areas.
Survival of the fittest…
According to the WWF website, the plants and animals that live here are able to live in these barren areas on scarce amount of water. For example, the beloved household plant, the cactus soaks up water from the rare rainfalls and is able to store it for months. Animals gain enough water from the food they eat and actually conserve the energy for when they really need it.
There are villages of people who live in in desert regions and in the Sahara Desert, the Tuareg people are a mainly Muslim population comprising of 2 million individuals.
They have another name and this is “the blue men”. This is because of the veils they wear to protect themselves from the burning desert sun and sand. They speak the language Tamashek, and this language is also spoke in Algeria and Mali.
Interesting fact for you, the name Tuareg means Free Folk in English. They live off the land and their livestock, making their own clothes and jewellery.
There are quite a number of various animals that live in the desert such as the Gerbils, Anubis baboons and Gazelles, but I had never heard of hedgehogs living in the desert before.
Get ready for how cute this thing is…
This hedgehog is the smallest of its kind and can be found all across parts of Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Israel and Iraq. They can live for around 10 years and have a top speed of 11 miles per hour.
Just like their cousins here in the UK, they are nocturnal and normally travel on their own.
These little hoggies are ferocious beasts! Their diet includes insects, small invertebrates, frogs, eggs of ground-nesting birds, snakes and scorpions. SCORPIONS!!!!
There ya have it! Now I am currently on holiday in South Wales UK so this was just a little something I typed up before I left as I had found it rather interesting, but I hope you all have a wonderful week. Do you have anything nice planned for your weekend?