This weekend 3/8 people who live in my house where visiting friends outside of the country, and 1 person had a study trip for class, so the rest of us decided to go to Bristol for the day on Friday. To get to Bristol is a whopping £5 round trip by train, about 10 minutes there, a little longer back. To give credit where credit is due, I did basically nothing in terms of the planning of the trip, all the credit goes to Bridget, who did research and laid it out and ran it by Andrew, who works as a tour guide for Bristol.
We started out at the St. Mary Redcliffe Church (see photo below), which was really beautiful, as are basically all of the churches and cathedrals that I’ve been to. Like many other churches, it was very large and impressive and cool. It also has the tomb of Admiral Sir William Penn, the father of the man who founded Pennsylvania. In another US related note, they had the American Chapel, or the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, which was built in about 1230. The chairs in it have cushions which are all for one of the original colonies. The Church also has what’s known as the Chaotic Pendulum (see additional photos), which gets its name from the fact that no one can predict exactly how it will swing, which is kinda cool. A lot of Bristol was also bombed in WWII, but the Church was narrowly missed, there’s a tram rail that landed in the green in front of the Church that they’ve left there as a reminder.
Then it was a short walk to a Quaker graveyard, which was initially purchased in 1665 and was used until 1923, it looks mostly like grass, there are no grave markers (see additional photos). We then headed to go to the Bristol Cathedral, but Bristol is just a really nice place to walk around, we came across a statue, a bridge where people are putting locks, like the one in Paris, and a very very small carnival, with a few games and a ferris wheel. We also found a large mirrored sphere, which we called the Bristol Bean (it was not bean shaped, it was a sphere), which turned out to be the planetarium for the Bristol Science Centre (see additional photos). We also walked by the Bristol Aquarium, but did not go in, at least not then.
Then we actually got to the Bristol Cathedral, which like the Salisbury Cathedral, is massive (see photo below). We got to see the oldest item in the Cathedral, a depiction of Christ that is probably from around the 11th century (see additional photos). One of the really cool things about the Cathedral was that the inside was basically being used as an art gallery, there were tons of pieces of art, mostly by kids in school. I was pretty amazed at how good they were. I love that intersection of old and new, and of people creating and making things.
We then took a small detour to see a Banksy painting on the side of a building. Banksy grew up in Bristol, so there are a good number of pieces by him scattered around the city, from his earlier days. We saw a piece entitled “Well-Hung Man” (see additional photos), which someone had unfortunately splattered with blue paint. We then headed to the St. Nicolas Markets for lunch, which were really great and had a lot of good food options. I opted for a falafel wrap, which was delicious, and then we grabbed dessert from a place called Ahh Toots, which has absolutely gorgeous desserts, I recommend you look them up. I went for a rocky road bar rather than a cake because I wanted to be able to carry it, but I had bits of other people’s food and it was delicious. We then decided to go to the Aquarium we had walked by before, which was quite fun, and very similar to other aquariums. However, one things that I really liked about this one was that it was a path that you just followed rather than being a set of exhibits that you have to find and navigate through.
Then we met up with a friend of Alexis’s who is also abroad, studying at the University of Bristol, and she took us on a small hike to see a cool bridge. I say hike because about half of it was uphill at a pretty steep angle. I’m from around San Francisco, so I know hills, and it wasn’t as bad as some that I’ve seen, but it was not the easiest. However, it was very worth it. We went to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the view was absolutely beautiful (see photo below). We spent a little while there, walked across to the other side, then walked to where Alexis’s friend was living and spent a bit in her common room, to go to the bathroom, get some water, etc. Then we took an Uber back to the train station and came back to Bath.
The next day I went to the grocery store and farmer’s market with Bridget because I was almost entirely out of food. I actually planned ahead this time and brought a list of things I wanted to get to make some recipes that I had found. I was mostly able to find the things I needed, except cilantro and cornstarch, despite the best efforts of one of the store workers who tried really hard to find some for me. Since I now had food, I spent a little while last night cooking a coconut lentil curry, which turned out really well and yummy, and it gave me tons of leftovers, so I won’t have to cook for a few days. This morning, I went for a run along the canal, which was really nice, I also haven’t worked out in a while, so that’s another thing I want to try and do more. Especially because the canal is right by my house, so it’s very easy. I also cooked more, this time making honey garlic baked cauliflower, which turned out pretty good, the sauce was a bit thicker and stickier than I thought it would be, but it still tasted pretty good. I also have leftovers from that, so I should be pretty well set. My food is all set, so now I’m ready to take on the week. Talk to you then.