You didn’t really think I would be done with one measly post about Bristol, did you? After all those boring months with nothing happening and nothing exciting to write about, I just have to draw my vacation out as much as possible. Hopefully not boring you to death in the process.
Part 2 starts with Day 1. Right now, I’m sitting in my hotel’s bar, with a cup of Early Grey, enjoying some peace and quiet to get some writing done. Unfortunately, afternoon tea didn’t happen, even though I had planned to … but let me start at the beginning. Breakfast consisted of baked beans, fried egg, bacon, mushrooms and toasted bread. I always skip the sausages, that’s one acquired taste I haven’t gotten yet. Compared to the sunny welcome I received the day before, England showed its usual face by greeting me with rain. Lots of rain. Cats and dogs kind of rain. But … I had no choice. I needed to get rid of my big bag of books and so I started my trip armed with my mini umbrella, Google Mapsdirections shouted at me, my handbag slung across my body and the bag of books hanging from my soon aching shoulder. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Surprisingly, I found my way quite easily. But … did you know Bristol has hills? Yeah, hills! And guess what! I had to climb one of those hills to get to another part of the city to the nearest Oxfam shop. Boy, I was exhausted by the time I arrived there and sighed loudly, “Thanks God! I’m here!”
I donated my books and looked around myself, happily discovering a few for myself, knowing, I did some good and that people with little money will have a chance to get my pristine conditioned books and will hopefully enjoy them.
It was still raining by the time I left the store, but I was quite relieved to be rid of the weight. My five Oxfam book purchases were nothing compared to that.
I briefly considered returning to the hotel to drop offmy book bag, but then discovered Primark not far away and headed there. Yes, I admit it, occasionally I also buy stuff at Primark, particularly stocking up on home office leggings which do tend to fall apart after some time. And, my greatest purchase, a rain jacket to bring me through the day.
Happily, I continued on my way, too curious to turn back, discovered an open-air shopping mall and was in Next – Ann Summers – WH Smith – Boots and Superdrug heaven. I skipped Victoria’s Secret. As iconic as VS is, I much prefer Ann Summers for my unmentionables and of course I did find the one or other piece to make my special friend (and me) happy. By the time I finally emerged from my first shopping spree, rain had stopped and the sun was peeking out. Oh, this wonderful British weather. Parched, hot and half-dead on my feet I finallyheaded back to the hotel. Time to unload and unparch – as in hydrate with Strawberry infused still water bought at Tesco the evening before – before being on my way again. With the goal to treat myself to Afternoon Tea at Harvey Nichols. I had certainly deserved that and was looking forward to a nice cup of Earl Grey, sandwiches, cakes and scones which would have been lunch and dinner in one … just to being told that I should have booked. Not, because the restaurant was fully booked – there was ONE table occupied. No, because the chef needs to know in advance in order to prepare Afternoon Tea. Gee, that left me a bit speechless. I mean, Harvey Nichols. One expects the place filled with people enjoying Afternoon Tea every single day.
I left. Drowning my pain at “Waterstones” by buying the next book load. Happily scratching off some from my extensive book list. Wondering on my way back to my hotel, whether THEY would serve afternoon tea. Well, since I wrote in the beginning that I’m sitting here at the hotel bar with a cup of Earl Grey, you might have guessed, that no, they do not serve Afternoon Tea. Thinking back longingly to Harrogate and the Old Swan Inn, with the wonderful lounge and delicious Afternoon Tea, not much “worse” than my booked Afternoon Tea at “Betty’s”.
Anyway, since I don’t want to return to “town” for the third time today, I decided to forget about this wonderful tradition and have dinner at the pub again. Today it will be the traditional Fish and Chips with mashed peas for me. Since this is on my culinary England schedule as well, nothing is lost.
And that’s exactly what I did. Ending the evening just like the night before. By stretching out my aching not-used-to-much-exercise-home-office-body and zapping my way through British TV programs before falling asleep in my wonderful hotel bed with the even more wonderful pillows – compact and not those horrible thin soft ones I have to endure in Germany when staying at a hotel, with me always having to request a second or third pillow to compensate.
Yes, that’s England for me too! Great pillows! Toodle-oo!
3 thoughts on “BEING IN BRISTOL – DAY 1”
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What a nice trip. Thank you for sharing. I feel like I am taking the journey with you even though I am sitting on my couch. That’s very interesting–you can’t find afternoon tea in England. I thought afternoon tea is everywhere in England. Actually I thought people would skip their lunch or dinner just to indulge themselves in afternoon tea. That’s my thought and often it is just an illusion. For example, I watched Bollywood movies when I was young and I imagined that Indian people like to dance in the street. However living in Edison, New Jersey for so long, a township with 30% population from India, I don’t see them dancing in the streets at all. They are just like me. Also I thought Trader Joe’s is all over Germany, only to realize later that Trader Joe’s only exists in North America even though it’s a German brand.
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Glad you enjoyed my Bristol trip post! Yeah, I was surprised too about the difficulty of getting afternoon tea. I had skipped lunch too, looking forward to cakes, scones and sandwiches. I guess I could have found a tea shop in town center, but after running around all day I was just too tired to go back again. Sadly, my hotel didn’t offer afternoon tea. But the more luxurious ones certainly do. Oh yes … the images one has about other countries 😂. A Thai friend once asked me about “Sound of music”, since it plays in Austria, is very popular around the world and is about the singing Trapp family, who fled the Nazi regime to America. Well, since I’m a musical fan I know about it, of course. But I bet most Austrian don’t have a clue. And I also know who the Trapp family was due to a 50s (or 60s) movie being played on TV on weekend afternoons when there were usually those old movies and which I liked to watch with my Mum. But asking today’s generation … they would just look at you crosseyed, not knowing what you are talking about. 😁