After my first night in London I spent the next day at the Camden Market, a busy sort of cutting edge place know for its alternative scene and nightlife, and also for its great market in the Horse Tunnel Stables (pics to come at a later time). Then I headed for the station at Waterloo to catch the train for Southampton. My second cousin Shelley lives there with her husband Steve and their little boy Alexander. It was a little over an hour on the train. All three of them came to meet me at the station. It had been almost 20 years since I had last seen Shelley, so it was so good to see her again and to meet Steve and Zander.
They were so lovely and treated me to a room at the Southampton Holiday Inn…something that after my first night in a hostel room with ten other people (especially the two Argentians who were making out) was absolutely heaven!
I knew really nothing about Southampton before going there. I am not kidding when I say that I have not planned this trip. I am literally flying blind, by the seat of my pants, in the dark…ok maybe not in the dark…but you get my drift. Turns out, as I found out from the fantastic view of my hotel room, that Southampton is the port that you would dock into if you were sailing across the Atlantic…say on the Queen Mary II ( uh hum, Heather) AND where the Titanic set sail from. All outside my hotel window!
That night Shelley and I went out for drinks and dinner…I will post more on this later when I can upload photo’s from my other camera. I promise soon I will get this all figured out, but for now at least I have figured out the best strategy for my Thunderbolt. Thanks for being patient with me. And yes, I will try to take more photos with me actually in them. It’s just hard when I am in the moment…and traveling solo…but I will!
Below you’ll see a photo of Southampton’s city gate. Back in the day there was a wall around the city complete with beautiful arches and scary dungeons (no joke)! Presently, the wall is only a small part of the city and in bits. But it is really beautiful. I greatly enjoyed the view of four arches in the wall that they have lit up with colored changing lights out of my hotel window. I’ve included the photo below but I am not sure of its quality since I was so high up (and had a few beers).
Saturday Shelley and her family picked me up and we went to Brighton/Hove. I LOVE Brighton. I would come back for a beach holiday in this area in a heartbeat. Besides what I saw, which was a lot and ton of fun, it is apparently also close to some other great beach spots (Eastmoore and The Isle of White) so you could plan a really nice holiday of it.
We walked all the way from Hove to the Brighton Marina. Below are some pics of the walk. The beachside cafe we had a burger and beer at. The Brighton Pier, where Shelley and I scared ourselves shaky on one of the rollercoaster rides. And where I got my picture taken with Will and Kate.
You’ll also see a picture of the Royal Pavilion. A palace built for the Prince Regent, later King George IV. It has an Indian architectural influence and a Chinese interior. It was majestic and in some ways did not fit, but on the other hand it represents what makes Brighton so great…its diversity and “anything goes” sort of attitude!
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