Brighton, United Kingdom
We had another lazy late start to the day, venturing outdoors just a bit before lunchtime, to wander around and see what Brighton has to offer. This ended up not being the best idea – let me tell you a bit about parking in Brighton. There’s not a lot of it – so for visitors like us, we need to fill out a visitor parking voucher every day and put it on the dashboard. If you don’t put the days voucher on the dashboard by 9AM, then you are effectively parking there without permission and a liable to be fined.
Unfortunately we found this out just after 9AM when we looked out the window and saw the tell-tale envelope under the windscreen wiper … yup, welcome to Brighton, here’s your parking fine. It was for the princely sum of £50 – but if you pay within 14 days then its only half-price. So, only a £25 tax for not having our eye on the ball. Could be worse, could’ve been Sydney prices! But still, lesson learnt.
We walked in to town (it’d probably take half an hour to drive the 5 minute walk). First funny thing to note – there’s a pub called “The Jury’s Out”. Two doors down is another pub. It’s name? “The Verdict”. There were motorbikes (and motorbike riders) all over the place. Everywhere. Perry did a bit of research and found they’re on a massive big ride that started in Germany, officially ended at Ace’s Cafe in London, but then continues on to Brighton. Must be a hell of a two-wheeled trip. But Im glad we arrived in Brighton on the Saturday not the Sunday, else I can’t imagine what the traffic must have been like with thousands of motorbikes added to the throng of cars on the road.
We bought tickets to the hop-on hop-off bus to get a quick tour around the town and see the sights, also with a commentary where we learnt a bit about Brighton and its history. Including some important facts, for example New Street was formerly known as Upper Back Passage 🙂
We walked around ‘The Lanes’, the twisty little streets chock full of independent retailers, including ChockyWockyDooDah, whose show we have been watching on telly for years. It was very cool to see their incredible chocolate creations up close and personal. Luckily they also sold stuff that was less than hundreds of pounds – so we enjoyed a box of big ChockyWockyDooDah freckles. Yum!
Not far from the busker (who this time unfortunately wasn’t singing Smiths songs), we saw an artist doing to most incredible and finely detailed pencil drawings – so we had to have a picture of Meerkats to take home.
We when wandering around the retail district, we finally saw our first pound shop – where everything costs a pound. Yep, it’s England’s two-dollar shop, but it had surprisingly good deals and a wide range of stock, including cold drinks, milk, and meat.
Wandering on, we got up close and personal with the Royal Pavilion …and a whole lot of scaffolding. So no glamorous photos of the front of it as it’s lost in a sea of wood and metal. Reminds me of the first time I went to London and Nelson’s column couldn’t be seen for the same reason. Still, it’s a pretty remarkable confection, a lasting symbol of how perhaps Prince George didn’t quite responsibly manage his access to the public purse. Or… has history proved that wrong, considering the amount of tourism it may well have generated ever since the pavilion was sold to the city.
It had been overcast all day and by about 4 there were a few spots of rain, so we decided to pop into Morrison’s again to get some things for dinner, and retired back to the flat. Lovely and comfortable as this flat is, it sure is a good walk uphill from the seaside, so once you’ve put the work in to get there, it’s a good idea ago stay put. Well, except to go out to the car at 8PM to change the parking voucher over, lest we cop another fine tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a bit of adventure, a big drive out to visit Southampton, and (yay) another show.