Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bristol Day 3

The final day in Bristol was spent at an even slower pace than the previous days. Rather than walk about so much I decided to hop on the city's sightseeing bus. Actually I chose to do the bus twice so I could compare the presenter's spiel for inconsistencies, and because it didn't cost me anymore for the second trip.

The quayside, here you can see where the river that used to be the heart of the city now runs. The quayside has been built over the top of it.

The rather silly fountains are supposed to remind people of the river that used to flow here but which now flows beneath it, and yes that is as high as they go!

Rather odd sign indicating the distance to the earth's core. Found outside the science museum so probably allowed.

Rather strangely he sightseeing tour has this caravan park included. Not much of city landmark really.

The water way on the left is actually man made, built to allow boats to travel easier from the coast rather than have them wind their way up the natural river alongside it.

This building used to house the imported goods that came in on the boats, however now that the boats drop their loads here they're empty except for one that is now the city's record office.

The Clifton Gorge suspension bridge, designed by Brunel but not completed by him as he died during construction.

Rather unsurprisingly it's the place of choice for depressed people in Bristol to end their lives!

Away in the distance is the new port, boats now travel up the Avon but not as often as they used to when the city was more into the naval thing.

At the top of Bristol is the downs, Clifton and Durdham, a vast open space protected by legislation to ensure the people of Bristol have somewhere to walk their dogs and play hide and seek. Actually this bit of Bristol was the biggest surprise of the trip as I never appreciated what it was until I got here.

Some French dude built the tower on this house a long time ago so that he could view the river and check for the arrival of his products coming in through the port. Hurrah for internet based package tracking systems.

Georgian housing along Clifton Downs.

Bristol Zoo. Banksy famously graffiti'd the penguin enclosure with "We need more fish". I didn't go in.

In the distance Clifton Cathedral, the Roman Catholic's main place of worship in the city. It was built in the 70s hence the more modern look to it.

More Georgian housing.

Heading towards the university tower.

Yes, the Banksy piece on Park St does feature on the bus tour.

The bearpit sans bears.

Apparently this tower is leaning, much like the more famous one in Pisa. Although for all we know it could be the one building in Bristol that is correct; the rest may be out of kilter.

The grand train station entrance and yes this is included in the tour! If you're doing the tourist use its useful to bear in mind if you're needing the station, saves paying for a taxi!

A rather ornate building tucked away in the middle of the city, I can't recall where exactly.

The only remaining original gate into what was the old town. It's part of a church; St. Stephens I think.

The new shopping centre development currently taking shape East of the main city centre.

Some obscure stencil. Not on the tour, in case you hadn't realised I was now back on foot.

Back at Stokes Croft. I realised the photos I took on day one weren't that great so came up to take some more.

A Polish church on Arley Hill north of Stokes Croft.

I wonder if you can figure out the style of music played at this event based only on the names of the acts. I doubt someone who calls themselves "Slutcrusher" is going to be friendly to the ears :D
It's funny what you miss when looking at something close up. That's the Stoke Croft centre,

It was once a carriage works, now a derelict, but listed building ordained in some rather nice graffiti.

Written beside a, yes you've guessed it, chip shop.

Mild Mild West this time taken from across the street, avoiding the fencing getting in the way as happened with the close up.


These pieces were outside a drop-in centre on Jamaica St.

I've seen more of these before, I have no idea who does them though.

Now I completely missed this building on the previous walk because I turned into Moon Street to find the couple of Banksy pieces there. This is on Stokes Croft road and reminds me of the graffiti associated with LA.

The Lakota is one of the main clubs in Bristol, again I hadn't realised what this building was when approaching it from the other direction.

The side of Lakota.

Now it's not the guy from Assassins Creed. This guy was doing some stenciling for a shop on the Christmas steps.

Funky old tower!

The resting home for retired seamen.

Not sure what this place was selling, positive outlooks perhaps, but it was quite cool anyway.

This is the Llandoger Trow, one of the more famous pubs in the city, and it was here that the only inconsistency between the tour guides spiel took place. One said it was the inspiration for Treasure Island, and the other said it was the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.

I can see why it may have had a piratey vibe to it, there were lots of little nooks and crannies within the building. A good place for lunch too!

The SS Great Britain was the first ocean-going ship to have an iron hull. It's now a museum.

The little boat alongside it doesn't have an as grand name. It's simply called "Matthew", a boat from the 15th century used by John Cabot to sail to the States.

This is the Aardman studios, located across the car park from the two ships.

That's Cabot Tower in the background, built in honour of the same Cabot chap who sailed the Matthew. It was closed for renovation so I never went up there it for the view.

The swing bridge that opens up when large boats need to get into the city.

Another shot of the suspension bridge.

A large private school, can't remember it's name.

Back in the town centre, and another shot of the river steps.

Queen Victoria statue found outside the cathedral.

A shot from within the cathedral. I was allowed to take photos.

Originally built in the 12th Century the cathedral had some reworking done in the 16th and 19th centuries. It has a strange mix of classic and gothic architecture and design.

The council building that lies opposite the cathedral.

There used to be a Banksy diver here but the council removed it before they realised how famous he was going to become.

The Hole In The Wall pub has nothing to do with a cashpoint but takes its name from the little extension on the left from which lookouts would keep an eye for press gangs; people who'd forcibly kidnap/recruit local men for understaffed vessels docked nearby.

A final shot of Redcliffe church as I made my way back to the station.

Bristol is a really nice city actually and I will go back there. It's quite a student town so has a younger feel to it, even though some of it has some history, and of course it has some great graffiti. I was a little disappointed with Bath though as there really wasn't much there to see other than the spa and the abbey.
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