There seems to be a never ending supply of “Bank Holidays” here in the UK. I swear every couple weeks these people take the day off. I’m not complaining at all, but it seems a bit over the top. The baffling thing to me is that they seem to just be bank holidays for the sake of the banks. In the states I’m used to Labor Day or Memorial Day where there seems to be meaning behind the day. Here I either am entirely missing the point or they simply don’t think they need a reason. I’ll take it, either way.
Anyway, I’m writing this now on a long weekend, but we took the trip to Brighton two long weekends ago. A weekend when the weather gloriously aligned with the day off.
Brighton was an hours train ride to the coast south of London. I’ve said before that the train rides for me are almost half the fun. This was no exception.
I didn’t have any real expectations when going to Brighton and hadn’t really looked up what there was to do there. But it turned out to be very lovely. My pictures do it no justice, and I didn’t really take pictures of half of what there is to actually see there.
It’s a beach town of sorts, but not in a small quaint way, it felt really bustly and dense. The beaches are pebble beaches—though pebbles isn’t the right word, more like river stones than pebbles. So the beach isn’t really comfy. But it was very pretty. The water was beautiful regardless.
I was excited to see that it had a true carnival style pier jutting out from the beach, complete with roller coasters, arcades and donut shops. I even was brave enough to go on the roller coasters. I found myself so brave I lined up to ride the giant rotating arms that jut you face down over the ocean, only to be told I was too tall to go on it. Horrifyingly embarrassing. But the ride runner did point out my legs would be chopped off at the ankles if I did ride it, so I’m not mad.
The one site I intended to see in Brighton was the Royal Pavillion. It’s a very unique seaside “pleasure palace” built for King George IV. The exterior clearly was built in the visual styles of India, while the interiors are heavily Chinese influenced. Queen Victoria was the last monarch to use the palace, but didn’t like it as it is in the center of town. She said, “the people here are very indiscreet and troublesome.” So she packed up all the furniture (some of which is still in Buckingham Palace) and moved out.
They didn’t allow photos inside like lots of these types of places, but here is one their own photos of the banqueting room that gives you a little flavor:
Unfortunately, for me I didn’t get really good shots outside of the building either. There was scaffolding all up the facade of the building. No matter, it was still incredible.
Besides the pavilion and the beach, Brighton has lots of cramped roads and alleys of shops and galleries called The Lanes. At some level, that area reminded me of downtown Santa Fe with its shops and galleries. Sniff. But the area made for some iconically British ambiance.
I’ll leave you with a few very random and not very well curated photos from the short trip. In true accidental fashion, you’ll see I got stuck in a parade. This is my life.