Last weekend I was in Bristol. The following long post has details and thoughts and random stuff from the weekend. The weekend was the second get to know you session for our team of eight intrepid adventurers who are heading out to Tanzania with the Church Mission Society. (I am going as part of a Greenbelt/CMS competition.)
Who’s Idea was an easy jet flight with a check in opening at 6.30am.
This is the First Day of the school Holidays and the airport is quite busy indeed. I walked and attempted to find sustenance. The shops are massively overpriced and rammed full. I walked around. The newspaper shop was unbelievably expensive. I ended up at Boots, their meal deal, sandwiches or equivalent, snack or crisps, and drink combo for £2.99 is clearly the best option in the entire airport. I get a prawn salad for Breakfast. Nice
I go through the x-ray machine; they decide to search my bag. The bottle of whisky in my bag was in a metal case and confusing them apparently. I have Jeffery Sachs for company and head towards the gate. I get their sit down and read. Musically I am listening to the white Ipod (artists A-Mb). Bruce Cockburn’s anytime, anywhere, anyhow in particular.
Glasgow is raining.
Easyjet make you walk outside on the tarmac. I got wet. I went on the front steps and sat in row 8. Near the front and beside a window. The flight was about an hour and it was reasonably good. Our landing was awesomely easy. Bristol airport is another walk across the tarmac idea. I only have hand luggage and I head out to get some money. The bank machine is broken. The info booth sends me to a different machine upstairs. Bristol airport looks small, modern and compact. It kind of reminds me of a small Prestwick.
The Bus to Bristol costs £7 return and goes direct To Temple Meads Train station from the airport. I board fire up the Ipod and Head to town. About 30 minutes later we are in traffic in what appears to be the roundabout centre of Bristol. It never looks that roundabout in Casualty!
Temple mead train station looks like a turn of the centre feat of stonework and engineering. The clock doesn’t work though! I went to leave my bag at the left luggage part of the station. Unfortunately the safety issue is very big and because of that no non-ticket holders are allowed outwith the ticket area. Not is there a left luggage area. Undeterred with my bag on my back I experienced one of the hottest days of the year.
Bristol has a great system of maps and tourist you are here type boards. I started walking to the City. My boss who is Bristolian had told me to head towards Park Street and walk up there. So I did. My only problem being each tourist map/board only gave you a map of the immediate (4 minutes walk area surrounding that map. So Park Street wasn’t on any of the maps.
The walk took forever but I did see some great bits of the city. Elisabeth square is particularly nice. With a big statue of King George (?). I think.
Nice area. The harbourside is nicely developed with plenty to walk around and a good place to walk around the harbour. The development does mean that it seemed to be filled with large chain pubs. I didn’t stop. I walked to Discover @Bristol. It was a big modern development, but big prices to go into so I didn’t enter outside were some water sculptures that were very nice.
Bristol as a city has a long history with the water but it was nice to see this carried through into new buildings with water almost being put on display. The place felt like a new development of shops and places to go and be entertained though so I tried to head for Park Street.
First stop was the Cathedral. It is large ad dates back several centuries The cathedral is medium size with a very nice cool and quiet place to send half an hour, part of the way round the cathedral there is a small garden with benches, it is a quiet and windless sun trap in the heart of Bristol. It had maybe 3 people in it. I would go there if I worked in Bristol the think and relax and possibly eat lunch.
I crossed the green outside the council building with the fountains and walked up Park Street.
Nice street to shop on at the top of the street was the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
I decided seeing as it was free I would take in some culture!
Bristol art Gallery and Museum was a proper old style museum. I wasn’t particularly into their collection of Pottery and ceramics from 1000BC to current.
The stuffed animals were interesting; the collections of Old pianos were awesome. The Geological display was really good though and I enjoyed that quite a lot.
My personal highlights came upstairs though. The Art was unsurprisingly dominated by Bristolian artists or artist with links to the area. The landscapes were large and of local views. As were the portraits of noble men mostly.
The interesting are was the small exhibition studying the usage of Line with art, this small part of the gallery showed just how exciting the use of one line can be. This was probably the Highlight of visiting the museum and art gallery. The best thing about it was the contrast and juxtaposing of style which still rely on line painting, The Rembrandts (2) were quite intriquit with each line almost giving of itself sacrificially to build up the entire picture. Almost directly across the hall was the work of Nicholas Monro (3 pictures), which made me laugh outline. The quite large images appeared to have perhaps 4 lines but seemed to have an energy and excitement beyond and above the almost precise majesty that Rembrandt was trying to achieve. If I had to have one, it would be Rembrandt for the money so I could buy more Monro.
I left the gallery got a baguette from the French shop across the road with the large queue out the door. I walked down the other side of Park Street just wondering in and out of shops as they presented themselves. The Pubs on Park Street reminded me of the gay village in New York. Anyway I went to the green outside the council building and sat in the shade of tree and ate lunch. I people watched, read my book and listened to music.
I headed Back To Temple Meads. This time I walked up by the street market at St Nicholas (?) it was lively and had some good vibe to it. I walked up the large shopping centre before heading back to the Station as directed by the excellent sign posting. The walk back took much shorter than the walk there. I got to the station and looked for a toilet. The Brunnell Gallery is £65.0 or something to enter. I decided I didn’t need to pee that badly. I then tried the door for the café and found toilets inside the café. Nice. I bought an 80pence ice-lolly and used the facilities. I then went to meet my friends at the station and get the Bus to Salford where our weekend would be based. Jenn arrived first and about 5-10 minutes later Alice arrived. Alice, we didn’t recognise, as her hair was very curly. Very nice as well. I think I do get on well with the team. And spending time travelling with Jenn and Alice was good.
The bus driver let us off where he was meant to and we started the next stage of our weekend the training.
(The next few blog will be random thought mode not narrative like this one.)