On Thursday we decided to take ourselves off for the day - we felt the need of a bit of a holiday after the winter. Want to come along and see where we went - it's been a while since I took you on an outing hasn't it? Some of you may remember that back in September we took the Jurassic Coast bus along the coast to Beer see here. This time we decided to go in the opposite direction and go to Weymouth which a friend had told me had been spruced up and was looking fresh and bright probably in readiness for the Olympics.
We drove to West Bay, a 45 minute or so drive through beautiful Somerset and Dorset countryside where the banks were sprinkled with primroses and here and there a swathe of cheerful, sunny yellow daffodils nodded as we passed. It all looked lovely with the sun shining on it. Having made good time we parked and had a while to wait so we decided to have a cup of coffee which we took sitting at the table outside in the sunshine at Sladers Yard.
The bus ride was a most enjoyable hour - made all the more enjoyable as it was free to us oldies on production of our bus passes (long may they continue!) We passed through quintessential English villages where the yellow stone cottages - some with their thatched roofs - slumbered in the early spring sunshine. The roads were never intended for double decker buses though and the thatch was often very close to the windows of the bus! I love being able to look into people's gardens from the upper deck of the bus and the views along the way were stunning - wonderful green countryside, fields filled with plump wooly sheep some with little lambs and in some places we had the sea to one side with the sun glistening on it and in others it could only be glimpsed between the hills.
I must admit that I didn't think Weymouth looked much different although there were signs of painting being done in readiness for the summer season. I loved this pretty wrought iron work on the shelters along the front which had been freshly painted - maybe you remember the photo I took of two old dears sitting in one of these back here?
We wandered round to the harbour and this beautiful ship was moored there, along with many more workaday boats used for fishing by the look of them, ....
...here it is seen from the other side of the harbour - it is apparently used by Adventure under Sail a charity which claims to enhance young people's lives do check out the link as it shows the ship in full sail which is fabulous!
I love this side of Weymouth which is a far cry from the beach with its Punch and Judy, donkey rides and so on - not that any of that was in evidence on Thursday of course but just wait till the school holidays and the summer months in particular! We had lunch in a little cafe just round the corner from these lovely buildings and then decided to wander over to the Nothe Gardens the Fort was not open but the gardens are a peaceful little oasis with birds singing, flowers in bloom and squirrels so tame I thought one might run up my leg as it let me get so close to it and eyed me with its beady eyes (not like the ones here in our garden which scamper away when we venture out through the back door)
These photos may give you an idea of the calm, peaceful nature of the place now although if it has a fort I guess it wasn't always so!
By the time we had wandred round the gardens and back into the town we had time for a cup of tea in Marks and Spencer before it was time to get the bus back to West Bay - as they run only every two hours we didn't want to miss it! These bright cheery little flowers were outside the Pavillion.
The return journey was every bit as pleasant as the outward one and this is a picture looking back towards Chesil Beach - pity the bus windows needed a clean though! We drove back in the early evening having had a very pleasant day out and are planning to go again and to do a walk from Weymouth to Portland where the Sailing Olympics are to take place. I haven't been to Portland since I went on a teaching practice visit back in the 1960s when it was freezing cold and very windy there and my memory of it is of a dreary grey place and I want to see if it's really like that.
Thank you for all you kind comments on my earlier posts - I am gradually getting round to visiting you all again.