Last week, we visited Bristol where ‘Spur’ was built almost 20 years ago … Looking for a bit of its story, we had the chance to get to know this vibrant and colorful city, with its rich architecture and an important harbor in its heart, over 1000 years old.
At the M-shed museum, the exhibits traveled us to Bristol places and its history, the great naval tradition, and the dark years of slavery. They introduced us to the people of the city and to life here. We were particularly fortunate because the museum at that time hosted the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, so we enjoyed the 100 award-winning photos of the contest, pictures of incredible beauty of nature and wildlife.
Very close to M-shed, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the first propelled steel built ship designed by Brunel.The ship that changed the world. Steel began to displace wood in the shipbuilding of large ships, and SS Great Britain was the ancestor of all modern ships. When she was built in 1843, she was the largest luxury cruise liner in the world and could cross the Atlantic in 14 days. She could carry 730 passengers or 1600 soldiers and sailed the world 33 times. Later she carried cargo instead of passengers and survived two hurricanes, while carrying a large weight of coal to San Francisco. In 1970 she returned to her hometown, coupled with a trailer for over 7400 miles from Falkland Islands in Bristol where she remains at the harbor as a museum.
In the harbor we also came across the replica of ‘Matthew’ ship, which took us back to 1497, when John Cabot, an Italian navigator and explorer, sailed from Bristol an expeditionary mission to North America, under the commission of Henry VII of England. Cabot along with his three children and 18 men crew, were the first European explorers to land on the east coast of the North American mainland. Basically, they were the first after the first Vikings, Leif Erikson and his team, who arrived and settled in Newfoundland around 1000. Furthermore it was a common secret In the harbor that many men had sailed from Bristol before Cabot , looking for Hy-Brasil (where thriving brazilwood a tree from which they could obtain valuable red dye) and according to a Celtic myth, the phantom island were in the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland.
With lots of sea -and not only- stories, we are back in Aktio, getting down to business, looking after and preparing ‘Spur’ in order to go again down on water!