Friday, 3 July 2015

A Grand Day Out

Thursday 25th June 2015

Well what else could you call a day out in Bristol?  Especially as we went past the Aardmann Animation Buildings the home of Wallace and Gromit.  Apparently the new one (bottom) is in the shape of an 'A' from the air.  Not brilliant photos I am afraid, but the bus was too quick.

Bus, what bus?  Well rather than a boat, Boatwif and I took ourselves off on an open top bus tour We were nice and early which paid off as there were plenty of empty seats upstairs allowing us both to have an outside seat until the last 15 minutes or so of the 1.5 hour round trip.  Our tour guide was Tom.  He was very knowledgeable and informative.  Had we been able to stay longer our tickets would have been valid to hop on and off all day and the next.

Just a taste of the trip in no particular order.  First a few more of the buildings:
A glimpse of more coloured houses
This rather magnificent building is on Clifton Down

Not your usual run of the mill semis!

Clifton College - once boys only, but now Co-ed

I believe this eyesore dates to the 60's and causes great displeasure to the more elegant buildings behind it

Do you think the owners of this property would like their neighbours to get the cleaners in?

Shakespeare Tavern

Surely one of the most handsome railway stations in the country?

St Mary, Redcliffe

Broad Quay House with 

Some magnificent decorations
A few other things we noted on the way round
It is school outing time at SS Great Britain and Bristol Zoo
A bird's eye view of the lock - it does not look that big from the top of a bus

 On Clifton Down
Peregrine watchers

Monty heaven, but sadly there was no time to take him up there

We had a great view of the docks at Avonmouth
And finally - what or who was he looking for?  

Elsewhere we got a good view of the gorge, but not as good as sailing along it!

This struck both of us as odd - would you really want to camp on a gravel campsite? Maybe the only option in a city?

Then came a cry from Tom - 'here we have a Banksy'.  I swivelled, pointed and pressed and had no idea what the subject of the artwork was until I uploaded it onto the computer!

Such a shame that someone has defaced it

Once off the bus we walked back to the boats via Millennium Square with things of scientific interest

And a few statues
 Top left is: ‘An eminent Bristolian Archibald Leach also known as Cary Grant 1904-1986 Movie Star
Top right is: ‘An eminent Bristolian William Tyndale 1492-1536, Translator of the Bible into English – Martyred 1536’
And finally at the bottom is William Penn, Governor of Pennsylvania, The quote is ‘Death is but crossing the World as friends do the seas, they live in one another still’.

After lunch in the bar behind our boats we went our separate ways. The Boatwif and The Captain to SS Great Britain and Chris and I for a walk with Monty around the city.

This is the walkway looking down towards our mooring - you can see the masts of SS Great Britain in the background.  It leads to a Tesco Express and provides grass/gravel for morning and evening dog excursions.

First stop was Queen Square - a place for a romp and a game of ball

With a statue in the middle - could it be of Queen Anne whom the square was named in honour of?

No, it is William III, cast in 1733 and erected in 1736 to signify the city's loyalty.  I waited for the gull to move, but to no avail - until I moved away of course!! 

From there we headed back to the Floating Harbour and just wandered about.  This is Pero Bridge which is a pedestrian bascule bridge. The bridge is composed of three spans; the outer two are fixed and the central section can be raised to provide a navigation channel.  The most distinctive features of the bridge are the pair of horn-shaped sculptures which act as counterweights for the lifting section, leading it to be commonly known as the Horned Bridge.
 Unfortunately it has another new distinctive feature which may not bode well for the health of this bridge - the new 'craze' of adding padlocks as a romantic gesture. How long before they become too heavy and all have to be removed I wonder?

From the far side of the harbour we were afforded a great view of the Cathedral

Then there is Canons Marsh Amphitheatre - they were setting up for a concert that night.  Showing my age here, but the music was so loud we were glad we were not moored any closer than we were!

Now to The Matthew which I promised more of yesterday.  She is is a reconstruction of the ship that Giovanni Cabboto (John Cabot) sailed from Bristol to search for new lands in 1497.  He is believed to have landed in Newfoundland.  If you want more information look HERE

As we were wandering by, the crew called out to invite us on board and we are never ones to turn down such an invitation.  We spent a very informative and pleasant half an hour learning more about her and her volunteer crew.  Only the Master is a full time employee.

And how better to end a long, hot, but successful day for all parties than with Pimms on the decking by the boats!

We really enjoyed Bristol and were sorry we could not stay another day or two - we will be back,

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