The Seaside a la Bournemouth

Beach hut.
I asked these people if they minded if I took their photo. They were fine with it, but the little boy was intrigued.

I almost called this post "Travelling Cheaply - Part 3". I'm off on a new adventure in a few weeks, and I had an interesting experience booking my airfare. I was using SkyScanner to find a cheap fare. Every time I went into the site the cheapest fare seemed to increase a little. A friend told me that this is intentional. The customer assumes the price has gone up because of time and other factors, and buys the ticket anyway. However, if you use several sites in conjunction with each other, you will see this isn't the case.

Beach Hut 2
This shot I took from a distance. I would not have wanted to disturb her - she looked so comfortable. Even the lamp posts are beautifully painted.

The moral of the story is to use one site to search for available routes and prices, then, when it comes time to book, use another. I just saved around $A400 by doing this. Going back to the original airline site is another option, cutting out the fee they have to pay to SkyScanner, Momondo and the like. I did this when I left Ireland for the UK in June and saved a few Euros. Every little bit helps!

Now to The Train Line for my ticket to London...

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Last Sunday the weather here was beautiful, a clear, warm day, one of the last days of summer even though it is technically autumn. I used it to walk from Southbourne into Bournemouth along the coast.

Boscombe Pier
Boscombe Pier in the late afternoon light. Percussion instruments are located at intervals along the pier - just for something completely different.
Balloon ride
Balloon ride at Bournemouth. There's a fun fair that seems to be a permanent feature near the shore. The balloon only goes up and down but looks like fun.

The English approach to the seaside still intrigues me.  I wrote about Southend-on-Sea a while ago. Bournemouth is a little more genteel, a little closer to its Victorian origins perhaps. All along the coast, a distance of about 5 km, little beach huts huddle close to the cliffs. Many are painted glorious colours. They'e not used  much at this time of the year, but enough were occupied to give me an appreciation of their versatility. These huts are used to store deck chairs, umbrellas, and anything else that may be useful for a day at the seaside, including the makings for a cup of tea. I've included a couple of photos in this post.

Flags
"Swim between the yellow and red flags." I had wondered how these waters could be considered dangerous, but I saw a memorial to four young surfers who died one February, so the weather must be fierce at times.

People who don't have access to a hut seem to follow the same principle, driving in the vans or kombis to the shore, throwing open the doors, and using it as a base for the afternoon.

All of the above is completely different to the Australian approach, which involves lugging vast quantities of stuff from the car park - often some distance away - to the shore. To be honest, this has never appealed to me. The English approach seems so much more civilised.

Steamer at Bournemouth
The pleasure steamer comes into the pier at Bournemouth. I saw it earlier out in the Channel.

By the way, if you want to buy a beach hut near Southbourne - if you are lucky enough to find one for sale - it will set you back £95,000.

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Work and other factors have been getting in the way of blogging. More stories and photos coming soon!

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