|A model of the estate.|
I remember reading about the old Swedish king, Gustav VI Adolf, who married one of Queen Victoria´s granddaughters (and after she passed away, he married one of her great-granddaughters), that he and his wife were the first Swedish royal couple to raise their children by themselves. Relatively by themselves, anyway. It was in her family culture, perhaps. It certainly was not the way Gustav Adolf himself had been brought up. (Must soon do a post on him!)
The room I remember best is the Dunbar room, decorated like a trippy dream of India, a maharadja´s palace. The roof looked like an inverted wedding cake, of the more fantastic kind. You can find a photo of it at the English Heritage website.
The Swiss Cottage is a kind of school house, where the royal children (Victoria and Albert had nine children!) learned how to run a household, among other things. The house has collections of stuffed animals, minerals, and other things; it even has a play battlefield! But it wasn´t just bookish study and war play, there was also garden work, and their tiny wheelbarrows are still there, each monogrammed for its particular little owner! And of course there is an excellent café, where one can buy picknick baskets, among other things.
It´s not actually a machine, it´s just a carriage with a changing room and a ladder. The Queen would put on her bathing suit, which was just another heavy dress in those days, while the carriage would be pushed out into the water and she would have her swim. And then it was drawn back up on the beach again, by horse or donkey. Victoria wasn´t the only one who had one, the were all the rage in the late 19th Century, apparently.
I had to go wet my feet, even though the water is no warmer than a Lapland brook. How anyone can swim across the English channel without freezing to death is a mystery to me.
|Talking to friendly girl from Swindon.|
There was enough food in the lunchbox for a family of four, but we finished the lot, were introduced to the English sausage roll (very nice), and an almond-tasting cake I couldn´t quite figure out how it was made.
I laughed when I saw this photo. I look like "we are not amused", but my face is not at all representing how I felt. The weather was beautiful, we were having a great time. Seems as if I´m suffering from this fashionable new syndrome, Bitchy Resting Face. If you haven´t heard of it, there is a full explanation here.
I think Osborne House is a wonderful place that one can return to, again and again. There is just so much to see. Admission is a bit hefty, though, and we later discovered that English Heritage has some pretty good offers if you plan on visiting several of their attractions. National Trust, the other great trustee of the English cultural heritage, has similar offers. Some places you really need more than one day to see properly, most perhaps. We will certainly check that out before we leave, next time.
Well, we finally left Osborne House, walked down to East Cowes, took the floating bridge across the Medina to Cowes, had a curry, and took the bus "home" to Newport. A really great day at a really great place!