Hello friends and happy Friday! It’s hard to believe it’s been ten days since I arrived back in Atlanta. Thankfully my body has adjusted (that five hour time change was a doozie for at least a week) … but looking back over all the photos and video from my trip, I can tell there are definitely still parts of my heart and my mind that might stay in Bristol for a while (or at least the “three to five years” that Sara will be living there).
I toyed with the idea of making this post fit my typical Friday TGIF format, but in the end, I decided not to force it. Some of the things I love about Bristol – the time change (I loved staying up past 10 o’clock and sleeping til 7 am!), (strong) tea, (lots of) green space, gin, Fever Tree tonic 🙂 – fit the frame perfectly, but so much of it – the history, the seamless blending of old and new, the river, the diversity, the dairy, the bread, manners, the weather … and seeing Sara, more or less comfortably settled into her new home, well … here you go!
The River Avon winds through Bristol. Parts of it – this is just few blocks from Sara’s flat – are narrow
and parts are a lot wider.
The blend of old and new is everywhere.
and so is Old. This is the organ in Bristol’s Cathedral. You can hear it in the video below.
There are hills. (and Hills. and HILLS.) which – of course – make for great exercise and spectacular vistas.
We walked (uphill … only on the way there) to Clinton to see the famous suspension bridge the first Saturday we were there.
The next Saturday, we hiked to Victoria Park and saw this view.
The last day I was there, I walked to Cabot Tower and climbed to the top.
It’s a steep climb! Those provious two photos were taken from that little arch way up at the top!
Bath is a 15 minute train ride away. Seriously y’all. 15 minutes! The day I visited was the only full-on rainy/windy day of my entire trip. But still, I had fun. and this yarn shop is delightful. (check out my Instagram for more details and photos)
I went to help Sara set up her flat. We arrived there Tuesday, August 6, mid-day, tired and a little wet, with six suitcases … to an empty flat. Thank goodness it was clean (even mama’s impressed clean) with carpeted bedrooms because neither mattress arrived that day so we fell onto a sheet on the floor that first night … after cold showers (yep, the hot water wasn’t turned on). It’s amazing what a credit card and the internet can do (combined with a few tools and a lot of assembly competence and a mama who got to know the UPS deliveryman). I took these photos a week later
and Sara cooked this delicious meal the following Saturday evening.
Last, but certainly not least, I mentioned to a few of y’all that one of my main goals was to find a good local pub for Sara. Turns out local brewery Left Handed Giant has a brewpub just few blocks from her flat. It’s right on the river (just a few doors to the left of the buildings you can see in the second photo of this post) … and the IPAs are delicious! They also have a pizza oven … so not quite what I pictured for “pub food” but more than what I expected for “pub brew”.
And of course, here’s the video.
I think the video tells much the same story as the photos – except with more of the travel part. Not gonna lie – even coming from the eastern US, it’s a full night to get there and a full day to get home. Delta connects to most points in Europe through Amsterdam … which is an hour further east and that adds time and hassle to the trip. I made a similar trip last fall when my mom and I took our Danube River cruise and I was prepared. Happily, both flights were easier this time and I had two seats to myself on the flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta. I hate to jinx future trips, but y’all – it was OK. even enjoyable. I read. I knitted. I walked the aisles. I made friends with the flight attendants. I think I could do it again. Well of course I can do it again! Sara’s coming for Christmas and I’ve told Marc we need to have a trip to England planned before we put her on the plane … it sure makes saying Goodbye easier when you know a Hello is coming soon.
Finally, I don’t want to leave y’all with the thought that I loved everything:
- I never did learn which way to look before stepping off the sidewalk to cross the street.
- It was only with Alexa’s patient answers that I could translate Fahrenheit to Celsius, which is good because the “hob” (aka “stovetop”) and the oven were both calibrated in Celsius.
- Many of the cafes had outside dining areas, which were – sadly – populated by folks who were smoking.
- It was ridiculously hard to find pretzels. Sara and I share a love of pretzels. Hands down favorite snack.
minor glitches for sure (well, except for the crossing the street part … thankfully, the drivers there paid more attention than the ones around here.)
Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend – with only minor glitches 😉
I’ll see you back here on Tuesday!