Bristol, UK – Day Two: October 1, 2016
A life long dream came true today. I climbed the mast and out to the end of a yardarm on a large sailing vessel. I’ve always hoped to do this while sailing on the high seas, preferably during a storm. The SS Great Britain is docked securely in Bristol Harbor, never again to sail on the high seas. Perhaps I’ll find myself on another sailing vessel and have the opportunity to make the other half of my dream come true. It was a thrill to stand in the wind, high above the harbour water and look across to the Hotwells, the brightly colored houses along the hillside of Avon Gorge. I spent most of the day aboard the SS Great Britain, once again, as a time traveler. The audio tour was wonderful. I could choose between several traveling companions: a first class passenger, a passenger in steerage or a maritime archaeologist guide. I chose the passenger in steerage.
In the evening, after dining on Deerstalker Pie and Pieminister, I walked into the area of the city famous for its murals.
Before heading to the harbour I stopped for coffee at Eddie’s. It’s nice to start the day with a smiling, familiar face.
Eddie the barista
The Hotwells are so whimsical.
At the far end of the dockyard, on Gas Ferry Road, is the majestic SS Great Britain, the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic. In 1845 she crossed in a mere 14 days. She was the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 until 1854. In 1881 she was converted to sail.
Halfway out the yardarm my guide yelled out for me to turn around and wave to his buddy who had fished my camera out of my bag to snap the photo. (His mother had told him NEVER, EVER to go into a lady’s bag!) I continued out to the far end of the yardarm. I felt so, so alive!
Hours had passed while I explored every nook and cranny of the vessel. I highly recommend making a visit to this superb museum of life aboard a passenger ship that sailed the oceans in the mid 1800’s.
I left maritime history behind and left the harbour to walk the streets of Bristol, taking in the present-day trends and transformations.
Another long day and twilight approached. Time to head back to Bedminster, but not before stopping for a pint of ale.
King William Ale House, built around 1670 as a refuge for poor women.
The pubs in Bedminster draw a different crowd.
I wasn’t adventurous enough or thirsty enough to find out if there was an age limit on the offer.
And so ends my second day exploring Bristol. Tomorrow I say goodbye (for now) to Bristol and hello to Abergavenny, Wales!