Just another scenic drive in Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Geiranger, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The S.S. Great Britain in Bristol

We said goodbye yesterday morning to our couchsurfing hosts (thanks Cynthia and Nigel!) and took the bus from there into town. We dropped our bags at a hostel near the bus station where they looked after them for a cost of £2.00 ($3.28) each.

Then we walked to the S.S. Great Britain. This is a restored passenger steamship, designed for transatlantic crossings between Bristol and New York. It was built in Bristol and launched in 1843.

The S.S. Great Britain.

After many transatlantic crossings, and then quite a few emigrant voyages to Australia and back, the passenger ship was sold and turned into a cargo ship. Eventually, it was abandoned in the Falkland Islands. In 1970, the ship was refloated and brought back to the dock in which she was built in Bristol where it has been a restored museum ship ever since. It costs £12.50 ($20.50) for one adult admission.

The entire hull of the ship is in dry dock, and is fitted with a modern dehumidifier system to prevent further corrosion. The ship is made of iron, and needs to be kept in an environment that impedes corrosion.

Kevin with the huge anchor.

The upper deck.

The first class cabins.

Even first class cabins were tiny. If you were traveling as a single, you were placed in a cabin with a stranger. That could make for a LONG 14 day voyage!

The kitchen. The restoration is amazingly well done, and in the different areas of the ship there are smells to make you think you're really there! 

Steerage class cabins.

Ruth, seated in the first class dining area.

The rear of the ship.

Now, compare the S.S. Great Britain to this reproduction of the ship that John Cabot used to sail from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497.

We enjoyed our visit to the S.S. Great Britain. The restoration is extremely well done and it's an enjoyable journey exploring the ship as a passenger would have seen it in the 1850's. For something different to do, it's worth the price of admission.

After that, we made our way back to the bus station. We had bought a one day travel pass for £7.00 ($11.50) each, which was kind of expensive, but it would take us all the way to Glastonbury about 27 miles (43 kms) away. Ruth's cousin Helen met us in Glastonbury and drove us the short distance to Keinton Mandeville where we will be for the next couple of weeks or so.

Here's where we are now.

Ruth, Chester, Helen, and Tony.

We're in the countryside now, and there's lots of walking and exploring to do. Helen has next week off work so she'll be joining us, and husband Tony will join us when he can. Dog Chester likes to explore too!

So, what was missing in that picture yesterday

Pick up trucks! I think every second vehicle in the U.S. and Canada is a big 8 cylinder pickup truck of some kind. Not so over here...mostly very small cars and that has to do with both the road system and the price of fuel at around £1.30 ($2.13) per litre ($8.05 per gallon). But many small cars get over 50 mpg so they are much more efficient.


  1. You know, I should have got the absence of pick-up trucks, by my excuse is, I've gotten used to NOT seeing them. If I do see a pick-up truck here, it's certainly a rare thing. Did you know VW makes an awesome looking pick-up truck? There's one here in Vienna that I see from time to time. Note I said "one". Unless they're all the same colour. Possible I suppose.
    I had a pick-up truck back in Canada (sold it to my nephew, so I can borrow it back if I need to when we go back to visit) and as much as I enjoyed it, it was still a mixed blessing. Getting stuff in and out of the bed is just not the best arrangement.

  2. A nice tour of the steamship, looks very well restored.

  3. The First Class Cabins were tiny, but large compared to quarters on a Submarine...
    You had to be a skinny gymnast to slide into your rack and rolling over was impossible for big guys.
    Either ship, not for the claustrophobic...

  4. I was thinking SUVs - not much different that a pickup. It would be nice to be where they aren't.

  5. Actually they have a quite a lot SUV's here just not pickups!

  6. Another marvelous post! Your photos are amazing! Thanks for taking us along and making us feel like we are right with you!

  7. Calvin and BrendaJuly 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Loved the ship! It was a rare siting in France as well to see a full size pick-up truck, even the farmers never used trucks. Most of the trucks that we did see were large delivery trucks, other than that we may have seen two or three in the whole month there. Probably fuel prices and road systems were the issue there as well, and maybe they are smarter than us and don't put all their money into large vehicles.

  8. Wow.. can you imagine spending months in a cabin like that? Steerage?? Oh my. And I don't think laundry was done while enroute either. LOL

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

    1. It was a 53 day voyage from the UK to Australia!


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