I'm back from the sea...and wish I could go back! It was an absolutely beautiful weekend! It was sunny, but unfortunately, far from warm! We left from Victoria Station Friday evening for a one hour train ride to Brighton, then walked about 15 minutes to our hotel. I don't think that paints the picture accurately. We aren't just talking 10 people leisurely walking down a road for 15 minutes. No-- we are talking 10 girls, most of us having carry on sized suitcases on wheels, stumbling down uneven side walks, and almost getting hit by cars every time we crossed the street! THAT is perhaps somewhere near close to the actual experience. As a side note, I will be more aware of what I pack next time. Dragging along a suitcase with at least 3 sets of clothes that you knew you wouldn't have time to wear is not a very encouraging thing.
This first picture is of Victoria Station. There weren't any unattended handbags that I could see, but then, I didn't go to the cloakroom. I would have taken a picture of "the Brighton line" but we were running down the platform to make sure we would all get seats, so I didn't exactly have time to do that.
After we made it to our hotel and I climbed the steps with my very heavy suitcase, a bunch of us went out to dinner. We found this amazing little Italian place, Bella Italia. I forget exactly what I had, but let me tell you, it was some of the best pasta I've ever had! After dinner, we hung out and wandered around Brighton for a while. Saturday, after a gigantic English breakfast in the hotel basement (and lots of coffee), we went to the Royal Pavilion. We took an audio tour of the elaborately decorated palace where George, Prince Regent liked to entertain guests. The inside was almost completely decorated in a Chinese theme, which was curious because all people knew about the Orient was through a few peoples sketches and tales.
After the Pavilion tour, we were free for the afternoon to wander around Brighton some more. I walked along the sea front and along the Pier with my roommate and another girl from the program. Later, I went in search of a book store I had seen on my way into Brighton and then just wandered the streets a bit.
This next picture is of the West Pier. It caught fire twice in 2003. Some plans for reconstruction were rejected, but a new plan is now in the works. There is no visible sign of new construction or restoration, but they expect it to be finished in 2010. Personally, I like it this way. Another pier, the Brighton Pier, is a short way down the sea front and is packed with games, rides, and food booths. I think one Pier is enough for one beach, but what do I know? In this picture, there is a lump in the water close to the shore. This is all that remains of the Concert Hall. You can also see what is left of the boardwalk if you look closer to the shore.
Friday evening we all met for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. It was called El Mexicana. Very original, no? The food was amazing! After that we hung out at a place called the Fishbowl. It was a really neat place, but there was hardly enough seating. Breakfast again the next day, then we caught the train back to Victoria Station. I had some time after breakfast, so I went back onto the beach. My dad would have loved it--there wasn't any sand! Instead there were rocks, well, perhaps pebbles would be a better word. It sure made walking along the water hard because you feet would sink with every step you took! Not as messy as sand, though, so I guess it's worth the trade off.
Just a little bit of homework today since I did most of it before I left for the weekend. I might go back and see the British Library again. And then sometime I have to go grocery shopping. AGAIN.
(P.S. Mom, thanks for all the shopping you do for us! I really REALLY appreciate it! :] )