Up early, with a picnic lunch, and off to The Trundle, a high point on the Downs overlooking Goodwood Park. Our plan was to see the Vulcan air display over the Goodwood Festival of Speed event, at lunchtime.
As plans go, it was remarkably successful.
We got there early, and had a choice of parking spaces. The early bird can park their car, late arrivals had to stick them in the hedge in the lane. The weather was NOT promising, although the view was breathtaking. I think it was the view that took my breath away, could have been the wind.
It's a steepish climb to the top of the Trundle, and I am Very Slow going up hills, so the children went on ahead to bag a good spot.
|looking back down the path from most of the way up|
The Red Arrows were due first and duly arrived bang on time.
Their display was as precise, and balletic, and beautiful as always. There is something so poetic in the lines they fly as they climb and dip and bank and roll.
We had an hour before the Vulcan was due. I was following its progress south from Doncaster on Twitter, @hx558 as they tweeted where they had got to, and their ETA. Time for a picnic overlooking the racecourse on the other side of the hilltop. We were all fine and warm, wearing coats and walking boots. Some were dressed like us, in walking gear, and others were sauntering (or struggling) up wearing shorts and tee-shirts, sun dresses, high-heeled sandals. The rain held off, the sun was out, although the wind was brisk.
Back to our vantage spot overlooking the festival area (acres, and acres of car parks - it must have been a solid mas of people down there).
Then we saw it, slicing through the dark clouds like a knife.
It came over so quietly, so slowly, and it wasn't until it turned and the exhaust faced our direction that the powerful sound of the engines reached us. It made several deceptively lazy circuits over the Festival of Speed area, sometimes flying level, so that it looked impossibly thin, sometimes banking so that we could take in the huge sweep of the wings.
What a sight - I'm not one for aeroplanes, but it made my heart sing to see both displays.