Thursday, September 24, 2015

OT: Europe Trip--Day 15--Bovington Tank Fest

We woke up excited...and early. Today was the first day of Bovington Tank Fest and we had tickets. One of the better/bigger Tank Museums in the world, a visit was the top of Skys' Wish List for this trip. He was worried that I'd be bored, would want to leave, wouldn't have fun etc. I had promised him that this day was totally his, he could look around all he wanted to and if I got bored, I'd just go grab a coffee and sit in the museum while he looked at the collection. Thankfully, I never got bored.

It was only a half-hour ride from Poole to Bovington and we were soon there. Traffic wasn't bad at all. As we parked, I noticed an "Event Sold Out" sign. Good thing I had purchased our tickets months before online. 

They parked us very quickly, it was a beautiful day and we bounced like "Tiggers" up to the admissions gate. A quick look at our tickets and we were in. "Okay Sky, it's your day. Lead the way."

A Soviet reencactor with a PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle. Much bigger than I had imagined.

We walked up and down a couple rows of vendors then went over to the "trenches" to see the reenactors. These guys/gals are hard core serious about their role but they would take the time to talk about the soldiers lives, their weapons and themselves. 

We then went over to the outside display and saw Bovingtons' Prize Possession--the worlds only operational Tiger Tank. If you saw the movie "Fury" last fall, this was the Tiger (as well as the American Shermans used in the film) that Brad Pitt outmaneuvered. 

Sky stands by the Tiger. Does he look happy? ;-)

There were a lot of people looking at the Tanks, it was hard to get a good shot/good look at them so we decided to go into the Museum to look around there.

Sky stands on a staircase overlooking Bovingtons Storage Area.

We walked into the storage area, it was huge! I had to go to the restroom so we went and found that conveniently located next to an overlook. Sky went up to grab a couple shots while I just went. After, when I joined him up top, I had an incredible view before me. Tanks and armoured vehicles dating back to World War II were neatly parked in front of me. 

We walked into the Museum, it was just as huge. Sky was in awe at all the tanks.
After that, we went out and bought lunch from the vendors and sat in the shade eating it. The show was about to start, so we found a place to stand where we could get a good view/pictures and watched.

American Reenactors scour the forest for the German Tiger.

A Russian T-34--built in large numbers, this tank was as good 
as or better than the German Tigers.

Sky shooting pictures during Tank Fest.

sight many American Infantrymen feared...A German Tiger!

A Spitfire had flown over while we were in the Museum and a C-47 was scheduled to make a few passes by the crowd. The narrator announced that the C-47 had a mechanical issue and wouldn't be able to make it but since one of the other aircraft was already airborne and had plenty of gas, he would make a pass.

Right then a Hawker Hurricane roared by! I felt chills and the hair on my arms stood up.

Hurricane makes a pass over the crowd

He came from behind then and once he was over some farmland east of the field,

He did a Victory Roll!

The show ended with the Tiger taking out two American Sherman Tanks but being overwhelmed by sheer numbers, a third Sherman snuck up and blasted him. Just like the movie...
The Tiger fires and takes out a Sherman.

It was the end of a great show. Sky got to see his tanks, I got to see a Hurricane.
Sky got some models, we met some nice folks and got to see the English countryside.

We drove back to our hotel in Poole and went for a nice dinner at a local Pub; 

Great dinner at The Queen Mary pub.

We walked the few blocks back to our hotel...stuffed, weary and tired.
As we walked into our room, we were treated to this view...

I downloaded the days pictures while Sky sent some pictures he took with his phone to friends.

All we had planned for tomorrow was to drive back to London to Heathrow to return the car and go to our hotel and rest.

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