ISLE OF WIGHT - THE BEST YET?

  10 a.m. was a civilised time for pickup and Steve, our driver, gave us a lunch and a comfort break by Guildford Cathedral. For those amongst us who had sped past over the years, it was a revelation that inside the Battersea Power Station type exterior was a beautifully light and elegant space that was well worth the visit.

  Then, our journey continued to Portsmouth and a crossing, as if on a mill pond. As we landed on the island, we were united with our tour manager, Anne, who was to stay with us throughout the trip. Another forty minutes and we reached our hotel, in Sandown. Within minutes, we were settling into our very comfortable rooms. A very smooth and relaxed journey, shaving hours off last year’s trip to Llandudno.

  We had a side room of the restaurant to ourselves and enjoyed the first of our excellent evening meals.
Plenty of choice, hot and served with incredible efficiency by Aisa, newly arrived from Poland and for whom
nothing was too much trouble. It left us plenty of time after the meal and we commandeered a lounge that
was just the right size for our party and sufficiently removed from the other guests, so as not to intrude. And
the entertainment began. Hans and Chris, with Evelina, took off from where they left off at Hayling Island.
They gave a great show, with which we could sing along. We went off to bed, at a reasonable time, tired but
very content that this was going to be a fantastic break.

  After a substantial breakfast (Hans, Chris and Terry, in particular, manoeuvring the first of many extras
form Aisa), we set off on the day’s outing which began in Whippingham, at St Mildred’s Church. Few, if any,
 of us had heard of it, but we were soon enthralled, as we learned that after being rebuilt by Nash, in 1804,
 it was again rebuilt, during 1857 to 1860, by Prince Albert, for Queen Victoria’s use on her frequent stays at
Osborne House. Sadly, he died in the December before the church was consecrated, in January, but the
many references to the family, in the church reminded us of the many and varied paths that were the
future of the children, particularly in the Russian revolution and with Kaiser Bill in Germany.

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  A brief stop at Guilford Cathedral, before going on to Portsmouth and the ferry

  RBBG and guests set off from Chatham and Gillingham, on Monday Morning

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