Bristol – one cool city

Day 159/160/161, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday 11/12/13 June 2012, Bristol

I spent three full days staying with Mel in Bristol, Mel worked on the Tuesday and left for a festival late afternoon on Wednesday, but we had a day and a half together which was great. The weather was average for most of my time there, a touch of sun on Wednesday morning mean we got out to have a big breakie in a cafe in the sun, but most of the time it was cloudy and drizzly.

Everyone in Mels flat works so it was another big lie in for me as Mel is not exactly known for early starts. Mel’s Spanish flat mate Jess made us a great Spanish omelette for breakfast, and then Mel and I went walkies. I wanted to get a couple of clothing items and a hydration pack in case I decided to get in a longish run while Mal and Tom are out on the trail.

I must say, even though the weather was less than average – it was raining, that Bristol is still a nice city, even in the more run down sections like St Pauls where Mel lives. There is a good mix of new and old buildings and really old buildings, parts of the cathedral have been there since the 1100s ! But what I really liked about Bristol was the street art, the council have allowed artists to paint a number of walls and some of the work is massive and a lot of it is beautiful – I took loads of pictures over a couple of days. There is also some quite good graffiti and slogans as well, especially around the Stokes Croft area where the riots were last year – outside Mels old flat, in the BBC footage of the riots you can see Mel and her friends sitting on the roof of their house. I have posted seperately about the stree art, but here ar my two favourites. This one is massive, two-three stories high !IMG 0774

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Mel showed me all around the main parts of Bristol including the markets at St Nicholas’s I was tempted to buy a hoodie there, expensive and quite cool, but want something basic while I am in Cornwall anyway. There was an awesome record shop in the market – all it sold was punk and metal! And the coming gigs, awesome – and I am not going to be there for any of them. Next time I come to Bristol I will tie it in with a good show.

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We visited St Mary RedCliffe church, a sign inside the door said daily services had been held here for over 800 years. (I so LOVE this old stuff)

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An effigy of Sir Robert Berkely from the early 1200’s.

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For lunch on Monday we went to the Hatchet Inn, open since 1606 – wowsers. I had half a pint of Doom Bar ale – not bad…

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Bristol Alms houses, founded in 1483.

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We wandered back to Mels and then took a marathon walk up to the Sportsman Bar so I could watch England play France in the football, we got there just after kick off so there was no seating free. At half time we decided to go another of Mels old flats that was quite close by and watch the second half there with some of friends. We grabbed four assorted polish beers – the cheapest in Bristol and watched footie, ate curry and talked crap for a few hours. I met a load more of Mels friends, most of the DJ’s in the Jungle Syndicate – they are all into dance music here and Bristol has a big scene. It was a good night, a nice bunch of people, Mel has always made really good friends and they welcomed me into the group which was most cool.

Mel worked Tuesday so I got up late and just went on more walkabouts in Bristol, I took a lot more street art photos and walked up to the museum for lunch. I got a bit lost a couple of times and then remembered Google maps on my phone !!

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I had a walk around Bristol Cathedral, this chapel was built in 1220!

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The grave of Abbot William Hunt from 1441.IMG 0869

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Richard was making one his famous curries for dinner, so there was a very full flat at dinner time, another fun time with Mel and her friends. The large shared dinner seems to be the in thing here, which is great for an active social life, but I would not cope with all those late nights!

Wednesday Mel and Richard were off to work at a festival a few hours away so were leaving town mid afternoon. I was staying one more night which was cool. Mel and I were up and out the door for 9.00 and went for a walk in some glorious – though sporadic sun shine, we stopped up the Gloucester Rd for an expensive big breakie in the sun then shopped a bit before heading back to hers she could pack.

It was sad to see Mel and Richard leave, but I am so pleased to have been able to see her a few days and have some fun. Once they had gone I walked up to the Clifton Suspension Bridge about an hours walk away. The bridge is over the River Avon and was most impressive !

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This old uni building was for sale, I was quite tempted : ) If only, it is next to the bridge and would have a monster view over Bristol city.IMG 0886

I was very fortunate to get invited to one of Mel’s friends place for dinner with some other people, which was incredibly nice of them and again I had a good time, and couple of drinks : ) a couple of her friends worked in Chamonix in the French alps, (where in my fantasy world I will get a job doing something completely unrelated to computers.) they have given some contacts there, and one of their friends has said I can possibly stay at their place as well and I have his number – how cool is that !!! very cool I think.

My baby girl and I

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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.

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