I think today’s touring of Brighton and Lewes incorporated at least 6 miles of walking, hiking and climbing. I loved every second of it.
I got the chance to meet a former TBDBITL member who currently lives just outside of Brighton and take a whole day to explore the two cities of Brighton and Lewes, courtesy of the OSU alumnus. For those of you who have no clue what TBDBITL means, I’m referring to The Ohio State’s THE BEST DAMN BAND IN THE LAND, and I highly recommend you google their halftime performances and watch a few shows. They are truly the best and a real treat to watch.
I arrived to Brighton by train at 10:30, and immediately set off exploring the city. I walked through gardens surrounding King George III’s childhood home, which was modeled after an Indian palace his father visited. Just a few blocks away was a pebble beach and the piers, one of which had previously burnt down and the remains were left in the water, the other converted into a carnival entertainment strip. It was about sixty and quite windy along the shore, but clouds looming overhead suggested rough weather was rolling in, so we quickly made our visit to the pier and then hopped on a bus to Lewes, a small town just 20 minutes north by bus (double-decker too – my first time!).
Walking through the tourist and shopping area of Lewes, I spotted an old church and decided to take a peek inside. Lo and behold, the building was made back in the 1200’s. Over 1800 years old and it wasn’t in bad shape at all! The stained glass, of course, was astounding, and the gold finished architecture added a simple touch of elegance to the inside.
The rain started to fall, so we hurried inside and grabbed lunch. For the first time I treated myself to the infamous “fish and chips.” I think I’ll have to try another place, or maybe my expectations were off. Still not sure how much I like the food since fried things aren’t my usual go to. Regardless, I’m glad I tried out something different.
On the edge of town, there was a golf club. The golf club was located at the top of the hill. To get to the top of the hill was a HUGE steep climb. In 45 degrees, wind, and pouring rain we hiked to the peak. By the time we were at the top, clouds were clearing, the sun was out and the rain had stopped. The view, as justified by the pictures you’ll see below, was incredible. Almost as beautiful as Edinburgh, Scotland, but not quite. I’d say a close second. Such a rewarding feeling to climb up and see such a sight.
Walking back down to town, the weather improved and the sun was back in full view. We explored some residential areas and walking along the river pathways, passing a famous brewery that had been a central place in the town for work back i the 1700’s.
Took the bus back to Brighton and toured the local museum which gave a depiction of the town’s history. Plenty of abstract art and random historical objects from the city’s early days. The book collection, which was an entire art exhibit in itself, was a room filled with old books, each covered with a different patterned fabric. Slightly overwhelming, the room looked like bookshelves filled with kaleidoscopes, there was that much color (see pic below).
Spent more time wandering around small shops in town. Cloud 9 was a cute and colorful gelato and dessert shop that had recently opened. Anything from scoops of ice cream, to cheesecake to the fanciest cupcakes was available. Everything looked delicious, but I skipped out (no need to come back with an extra 20 pounds to carry around). Choccywoccydoodah’s (say that 3 times fast) was a hot spot for tourists. This chocolate shop had elaborate cakes in the windows, similar to one’s you’d see on the the show Cake Boss, as well as other everyday objects made of chocolate, such as shoes. Check out the Wizard of Oz cake I photographed!
On my way back to the train station, I looked through the window of a sushi bar that struck me as quite unusual. Similar to a hibachi grill set up, the sushi bar had guests seated in groups of approximately 15 in a square formation. Instead of eating off plates and being served, the guests ate off a conveyer belt, while a chef in the middle of the table formation made sushi in the middle. He then placed the food on different colored mini-plates that were on a constantly rotating conveyer belt. The colored plates were part of a color-coding system that indicated the price of each item. Seemed like a nifty and creative way to serve food and just caught my eye!
Caught a train back to Farringdon and was home by 7:30, exhausted from a long day of travel. Off to church tomorrow at another cathedral somewhere in the city (I still have to search for a new one to attend), and then Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The grounds of the 2012 Olympic Games is probably the most exciting attraction of the trip, and although you may object or ask why…it’s all because of my love for sports. Until tomorrow, cheers!
King George III’s childhood home
pebble beaches and the pier; Brighton Eye in the background
old church from the 1200’s
panoramic atop the hill in Lewes
another Lewes view
Lewes Castle & Gardens
Lewes Castle & Gardens
colorful book art exhibit
Wizard of Oz cake!
Cloud 9 gelato
fountain in the center of town