OXFORD AND WARWICK
Here is me, me brother Snuzie (boat guy) and Normie (Science Guy). We are having an Isambard Kingdom Brunel day here in Bristol. Who is Isambard? Only the most influential human from Britain that ever existed. He figured out how to tunnel under the Thames, build the Clifton Suspension Bridge and basically invent steam ships which brought all those folks overseas faster than them there sailboats. That and he figured out that ships made of iron floated good too and held more stuff.
This here ship that I'm on used to be called the SS Great Britain but is now, officially, Brunel's SS Great Britain. You can go on it, in it and under it. There are rebuilding the dry dock area to resemble how it was in the 1800's along with a Brunel museum.
You can even climb the rigging but much as I tried, and I tried, a lot, my dear old Dad wouldn't climb up. Tried all day to convince him but it was not to be. It's not that high.
Rigging me olde Dad wouldn't climb. Did you know this boat sailed around the world 32 times? Now enjoy my little pictures. Nuthin more fun onboard ships than playing with the food.
It's always fun at the ÄT BRISTOL SCIENCE MUSEUM. There is tons and tons of interactive things to do like looking at at brains, picking up brains, playing with brains. Then there's lost of skulls which you can look at and pick up and play with. The mostest fun thing to do though was the second floor. It's all about movie animation at the moment. From claymation (because this is the home of the company that made Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit). You can see sets and storyboards and even make your own little movies. They are good at science and fun stuff but crappy cafe and not much better gift shop. Guess you can't be good at everything.
This is one of the sets from a Wallace and Gromit film. You can make it all different times of the day and even turn the cars lights on.
Afterwards we climbed the "Big Hill", I think it's Park Street. The super beautiful Bristol University is up there and it's pretty darn amazing. You can also play in the fountain (which I may or may not have done). After you've hiked "The Big Hill" why not stop for a super duper pizza (made in a proper brick oven thingy). It's delicious....and it's called Pinkman's. It's a bakery too. Wish I was there right now.
So it's off to the bridge so you call a taxi and the driver apparently speaks no English and perhaps has never even been to Bristol. He needs an address and his GPS. First stop is to see where me great great grandfather George Harris lived. 4 storey house it was on Freeland Place. Little did we know that since it "the house"is so tall you can spot it easily from high atop the Clifton Suspension Bridge (it's even in some sketches). George was a pilot (not airplanes silly it's like 1890). No, a pilot that brought the big ships into the harbour.
So we want to go up to the Clifton Observatory, taxi driver had no idea and took us miles downriver where in the far, far distance was the bridge. The Observatory is like a 3 minute walk...grrrr. So we get him to drop us by the bridge and we walked across and stopped for brownies before heading into the visitor centre. The dude that designed it never saw it completed though. Guy named Isambard Kingdom Brunel (that's one heck of a crazy name). He designed the S.S. Great Britain (big boat thingy) and the bridge design was part of a competition.
After the bridge we walked the 3 minutes up to the Observatory and you can see by the photo it's bloody amazing and awesome and super pretty too. There was a nifty camera obscura where we could see the reflection of the bridge with cars going by.
Now we headed into Clifton to do a walkabout and visit what was the longest terrace in Europe. It is known as the Royal York Crescent. So we see this gentleman sitting out front and we start talking to him and he lives inside one of these fancy houses. So the next thing you know he's a history buff and film buff and he's invited us inside. We are inside one of these fancy ass houses. Turns out he was a seller of estate items (over 3,500 he has sold the contents of). He puchased the finest pieces for himself and his home is a treasure trove of everything from amazing art (some movie star related) and even letters written by Randolph Churchill (Winston's Dad). He owned a wee home called Blenheim Palace.
There are books signed by the the founder of the Methodist Church and well literally boxes and boxes and boxes of treasure. Take that Bristol Museum, you got nuthin on this guy. When I say guy I mean Michael Beese. They own Rachel's & Michael's Antiques. No picture I'm afraid, too busy going through treasure for pictures.
Grabbed a bus back to town and grabbed a sandwich at Sainsburys'. The olde Mam went to the Hippodrome (old theatre from 1912) for tickets to the live show of The Addam's Family. They're creepy and their spooky...and Baxter's kind of kooky, he thinks he's in the cast now of the Addam's Family.
Got up early to be at the theatre (The Bristol Hippodrome) by 10:30am as there is work to do. I must inspect the new chairs before going backstage to help with the lighting. New though they may be the seat backs are hard as a rock. That should keep the elderly theatre goers awake. Then it's backstage to help lower the lights for bulb replacement and Inspect that all is ready for the matinee. I can never escape the cast and crew as even when I'm out and about in Bristol I keep bumping into them.
Anyhoo...she is a big movie and Potter and Star Wars fan.
So after the Matthew we headed into the M Shed which has a bit about a few famous Bristol folks (not much though). Like Cary Grant and that dude that made the Wallace and Gromit movies and Chicken Run.
Honestly there was a bit of Bristol history but even Fry's chocolate had a tiny little display behind glass that included maybe 6 chocolate moulds, tiny ones. Mostly the museum was about the poor immigrants from Somalia and how we should all get along. Since when does this have anything to do at all about Bristol and it sure as heck doesn't belong in a museum. At least not for 50-60 years. Honestly I don't recommend this museum. Go see the Matthew instead.
We had to hurry back though as we had a 7:30 Addams Family to attend. It was great fun with great songs but the most interesting thing was the guy behind me. He was beautiful, sort of reminded me of that guy/girl from the Crying Game but even more stunningly beautiful. He had a presense about him that was almost other worldy. His name was Ed but for him, I'd almost go gay. He was that beautiful. He was from France. I really can't explain just how you felt a certain glow in his presense. He was sort of spooky...and really kind of kooky but he was way too pretty for the Addams Family (P.S. he works at the theatre).
Well just a few more days to go and then it's off to England via Calgary. When one likes British Airways and Heathrow Terminal 5 sometimes one must depart from another city. Besides, it's like a 7 1/2 hour flight from Calgary and closer to 9 from Vancouver. That's a whole entire hour and a half not on a plane and that's a good thing. Then our private chauffeur will meet us at Heathrow and drive us to Bristol to our very fancy schmancy hotel. I'm pretty sure schmancy is a word. A little side trip to Blaenavon, Wales is in the cards (where me great grandpappy was born). It's a World Heritage Site now, pretty sure it got that status on account of me great grandpappy.