Thursday, 25 August 2016

Lost in Southampton

I'm enjoying doing more blogs with a focus on the pictures, so I thought this one could mostly focus on the pictures that I took while in Southampton on Monday.

The funny part is while there, in true Planet Jodie-style I got lost! In my defense, it was only my third occasion going (once was while driving through when moving to the island, and the second was only seeing the train station as I had to go to London for an interview). Before I get told again, I used Google maps the entire way and still got lost. For anyone who hasn't come from the Isle of Wight to Southampton on the ferry, there is a connecting bus that you may get for free. It was completely full so I  tried walking. I had plenty of time to get where I needed to (a full hour to be exact) and Google said I was just over half an hour away. I didn't know the bus numbers that I had to pay, and it was a lovely day, so I thought it was perfect. Plugged my headphones in full blast, walked down the high street and wasn't getting lost for ages (great for me). Then as I got closer, I followed the correct road and then it told me that the destination was right or something but had reached a dead end. It got sorted eventually, but I was late. I hate being late and best of all, I felt gross and sweaty. I drank 2.5 litres of water that day!

However coming back, I decided to enjoy the scenery and get a look into Southampton. I didn't go too far though. My feet were sore! I'm still kind of recovering. Checking my phone, I did almost 16,000 steps before getting the ferry home. Good day for walking.

While visiting, I noticed four zebra statues around the city. Just five minutes from the ferry home, I took a look closer and read that it was for Zany Zebras. It sounds similar to when Aberdeen did the dolphins, and from looking at Facebook, it seems similar to Dundee's new Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail too.

Marwell Zoo is a world renowned charity, who are knowing for their leading work in conservation in the UK and Africa. They previously organised Go! Rhinos in 2013, and due to it's success they chose to do a similar project in the name of Zany Zebras. It is described on the zoo website as a "HUGE family, public art event", which supports their work with endangered Grevy's zebras in the process. If you want to know more about Zany Zebras, feel free to look here.

Aren't they beautiful? These are only two of the 150 zebras dotted around the city. It looks like I'm going to Southampton again next week, so hope to take more pictures and do even more exploring.

The only pictures I had were walking through one of a few parks I saw in the city. Looking around the city, I thought of how to best describe it, and thought it was best to describe it as "London meets Leeds." Not sure if it's an  accurate representation but it had similarities to both cities in my opinion. Most of all, I couldn't get over how clean the pavements were. Yes, a dull observation but couldn't get over it. It was a gorgeous city that I don't think enough people think of visiting.

I have to say my photography skills still need a little work, but I still liked the way it looked despite being out of focus...

I wish I took note of which park I visited or what the statues meant, but there is plenty of time to visit Southampton again and see more. Most of all, I want to go shopping there. It has a mile of shops (maybe longer). I also enjoyed visiting Urban Outfitters briefly. It is one of my favourite shops, and have previously only been to the ones in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I couldn't find the Primark but suspect it wasn't far.

Reading more about the city, I've learnt that it is so long as to start from Town Quay (where the ferry is) to Bargate, later expanding. As the city grew, the area got bigger to reach to the north of the Bargate, into Above Bar Street. The west of the High Street has an area now known as West Quay. It is best known for the West Quay shopping centre. When it was built in 2000, it was the largest city-centre shopping centre in Europe with around 100 shops. The thing I found most interesting was that it was owned by Hammerson, which I knew I'd heard of before. Turns out they also own Aberdeen's Union Square and Victoria Gate in Leeds. Love a bit of trivia!

Got to go now, but I can't wait to learn more about Southampton next week! I will share more pictures if anything interesting comes up.

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