Mar 9, 2012

Portsmouth, UK

09 (Fri) - 11 (Sun) Mar 2012

Lodging: 34 Belmont Street

A trip to visit my friend Tan Leo who's studying in University of Portsmouth.

Day 1

It's my first time traveling alone within Europe, apart from loneliness and anxiety when you have other no friend to depend on, I paid more as single train ticket is more expensive than sharing a duo ticket (not a big deal actually).

Gatwick Airport South Terminal
After arriving at London Gatwick Airport, I took National Express Service 206 from the airport's South Terminal to Portsmouth Hard Interchange by presenting the return ticket that I've booked online earlier which cost £18.50.

Hmmm, I know a lot of you haven’t even heard of Portsmouth before, the reason I went there is to find my Penang friend who’s currently studying in University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth is a southern city in the county of Hampshire in England, as well as the only island-city in the UK.

The journey took one and a half hour and I reached Portsmouth at 3.30pm, but my friend, Leo didn't notice me alighting and I walked around the bus stop then saw him waiting for someone. Of course I did recognize him with his unchanged look, although we've not been seeing each other for only approximately 9 months.

He showed me around the Portsmouth Harbour while telling stories about the historical Portsmouth - all the ships, war and stuffs. The temperature there was lower than expected, but it's survivable without scarf, gloves and ear mask.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Gunwharf Quays

He then showed me around his university, which is like a typical European university like Lund University - spreading around the town area, making the campus look borderless.

His hostel - James Watson Hall

According to him, student life here is pretty slack, which accounts for its not-so-good reputation worldwide, oops. But I like the purple theme of the university.

And then the Commercial Road of Portsmouth

For dinner, I joined him and his coursemates (two Vietnamese from Poland, a British From Turkey, a Taiwanese from Malaysia and a Hong Kong national) at Golden Bowl. I really have to thank him for his wonderful treat there. I guess it's run by Hong Kong nationals as they speak Cantonese and you definitely can order using Cantonese. Chinese dishes FTW!!!

It's my pleasure to have one of Leo's coursemates baking me birthday muffins and as well to have them celebrating my 23rd birthday which was one day before this.

Touched, really…

As usual, I'm super quiet in front of new friends and some of them were trying to open me up but failed owing to my extraordinary shyness.

We drank till midnight and I stayed at his coursemates' place, which is sort of a multi-storey terrace. The next day Leo and I will be off for London. Whoohoo!

Day 2

Portsmouth Harbour Station
We took National Express early in the morning from Portsmouth Harbour Station at 9:30am and reached London at about 11am.

Please read my blog post: London, UK

Day 3

Leo is cooking
From London, we reached Portsmouth at about 8:30pm and his friends were waiting for him to cook dinner.

Leo's gonna cook us some delicious dishes for dinner.
They're really delicious but sorry Leo that we didn't manage to finish the entire dish and I wished I had an emptier stomach for those, honestly.

That's pretty much for Portsmouth, I took a 2am National Express coach back to London Gatwick Airport for an early morning flight and a zombie's having his first Heat Transfer lecture the next afternoon.

For more photos, please check out my photo album Portsmouth, UK on Facebook.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

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