The thing about living close to the Isle of Wight is, I never actually planned to go there as I thought I could hop on the ferry whenever I wanted and be there in less than an hour. It’s that close.
One day I bumped into Lukas at the campus and told him about the plan to go there, someday. Since the weather had been nice for a couple of days, he suggested to go there in the weekend. We finally made it on Sunday.
On the way there, we spent the first few minutes on the top deck, gazing at the sea and the boats. As the ferry approached the island, we were mesmerized by this postcard-like view.
We took a bus to Carisbrooke Castle, and spent a moment at the entrance, saving seven quids for not buying the ticket. Students.
After that, we decided to go to Yarmouth, but missed the stop so we continued the ride and got off at Alum Bay. All those pictures in the brochures made Alum Bay looked promising, but it was like a deserted town after a zombie apocalypse when we were there. The kiosks were closed, the park was empty, and there was nothing much to do there. I could imagine it would be lovely in the summer, but at that moment it was the dullest place on the island.
After that we waited for the bus to Newport (only missed the last one by four minutes, and had to wait for another thirty minutes. Talk about bad timing). We made a stop at Freshwater to buy some food, then got off at Newport to take another bus to Ryde. Fortunately, Ryde paid off all the mishaps we had at Alum Bay. It was lovely, with nice restaurants and pubs along the coast. We got a glimpse of Portsmouth across the sea, while considering to make an impromptu trip there, as it was only ten minutes away (we didn’t go there, though).
We spent a really long time at the pier. I’m trying to remember what we did there that made us spent almost three hours at that place alone, but it seems that all we did was walking along the pier, jumping up again and again, and admiring the town.
Which was fine by me. Especially as we got the privilege to enjoy the beautiful sunset, the golden sky, and the sparkling sea.
We stayed there until it got dark and the lights started to lit up. We had hot drinks at a nice Italian café before taking a bus back to East Cowes, leaving the twinkling town behind.
I would like to say that our adventure ended there, but it wasn’t. According to the schedule, we only had six minutes to catch the ferry since we couldn’t find an earlier bus, and there was only one bus every hour (damn Sunday schedule). Long story short, the bus was late and the minute we got off, one of us (I forget who) yelled, “Run! RUN!” and we ran like crazy to the port, only to find that we missed the ferry only by one (or two) minute(s). Luckily, there was a nice man who told us to catch the speed boat at Cowes, giving the direction to use the ‘floating bridge’ to reach Cowes.
We shouldn’t have looked for a real bridge, really, because the floating bridge was more like a mini ferry which goes back and forth from one side to the other. We spent quite a long time going around before finally realized the ‘bridge’. We managed to get there on time, but once we were there we realized that the ticket was different (of course). So Lukas pushed me to the front while whispering, “You’re a girl. Give him the ticket.” This act was proven to be useless anyway, since the man didn’t even look at our ticket.
Finally, I was able to say finally as I sat on the speed boat, deadly exhausted.
The funny thing is, Isle of Wight reminded me a lot of Batu Hijau. The neighborhood was similar, and there was this familiar feeling when I saw the wood and the beach. Even getting onto the speed boat felt like going onto Tenggara to go to Lombok.
It was a fun trip, but I have to go back another day to explore the east and south parts of the island. Given the close proximity, I may step on the island anytime soon.
Note: Some of the photos were taken by Lukas Honz.