After our brilliant ukulele weekend in Minehead, Alan and I drove to Bristol where he was catching a flight back to Edinburgh on Monday afternoon. I had decided to stay in Bristol and see friends and do a bit of sight-seeing.
We had booked into a Travelodge near the centre of the city where it would be easy for Alan to get a bus to the airport and me to wander around the sights. I've been in Bristol before in February last year when a group of us went to watch the Wales/Scotland Rugby match in Cardiff. I had flown there because it was way cheaper than any flight to Cardiff and stayed a couple of days. Having been before, I thought I might have a vague idea of where everything was and this was largely true, but Bristol is going through an astonishing amount of re-development and large parts of the city center around Temple Meads and areas around the docks and harbour have changed a lot in just that year and a half. Still, my favourite pubs were still there.
We arrived just after two and checked in before going for a wander. We didn't get very far as there was a great wee pub just across the road from the hotel where we spent some of the afternoon chatting to the locals. They told us of a couple of other nice pubs nearby so we set off. In one of the other pubs, a local told us that music was being played that afternoon/evening in The Seven Stars just around the corner. We spent the rest of the day listening to some really good local bands. I think we staggered back to the hotel around eleven.
The next morning after breakfast, Alan checked out and we set off on a bit of sight-seeing before Alan caught the bus to the airport
I had decided to walk along the river to the harbour and docks before visiting The SS Great Britain.
The river and harbour were really buzzing with lots going on.There were a number of art galleries and other art installations, cafes, a steam train and of course, lots of boats and sailing connections.
The SS Great Britain was fascinating and I spent around 2 and a half hours wandering around the boat itself and the other exhibitions within the complex. The boat has been put into a dry dock where you can see both inside and outside. The inside was really quite cramped for the 350 odd passengers who sailed on her. The cabins and particularly the bunks were really small. People must have been much shorter back in the day. Anyone close to six feet tall would find the sleeping accommodation difficult. Being in dry dock I was also able to wander around underneath the ship.
I made my way back to the city centre and found a really nice place to have my tea - The Old Fishmarket.
The next day I again walked down to the dock area where I visited Arnolfini Cafe Bar where there was a Grayson Perry exhibition. Not my favourite artist but it was interesting nonetheless. I was meeting my friend Georgie down at the harbour at The Stable where we had great pizza and cider. I met Georgie through Ukehoot and she had been studying for PHD in Philosophy at Bristol University. It was great to meet up and catch up on her news. After I left her, I wandered back up to the centre and did a little shopping before finding Brew Dog and having something to eat. I was off to South Wales the next day..