Trip Taken: 2008
Brighton was on my list of places to go during my one week vacation in England. One, it was close to London and Winchester. Two, it was near the ocean. Three, it was suppose to kind of a hippie town or at least something with a more relaxed type of atmosphere.
I believe I took a direct train from Winchester to Brighton. It is pretty easy to get to Brighton. I am pretty sure you could probably connect in London to a train to Brighton. Actually, is it suppose to be called Brighton and Hove or just Brighton. I see both ways to declare the city but I think I’ll just go with Brighton since it’s easier.
One of the first stops anybody should go to in a new city is the tourist information center. Lucky for me, the tourist information center I was headed for is right next to one of Brighton’s most popular attraction. Just from the outside, it is not hard to see why the Royal Pavilion is so popular. Prince George, the son of King George III (Yes, that George III. The royal who lost America to the revolutionaries), was an eccentric who loved all things Orient. The palace’s architecture is like an Indian palace while the interior was suppose to mimic Chinese interiors. The Chinese influences are definitely there but it is more like a Chinese fantasy interior than an actual Chinese interior that adhered to Feng Shui. It is a shame that I couldn’t take any pictures inside since the dining room is so magnificent. The chandelier is a giant dragon and there are porcelain pagodas all around the complex as decoration.
Leaving the Royal Pavilion, I headed toward the Lanes. The Lanes are a gathering of pedestrian streets that sell all kinds of different curios and kitsch. They also have a lot of cafes available. I was starving by the time I got to the Lanes so I just headed in to a nicely crowded restaurant. I treated myself to some Mussels Frites. It was yummy. You can almost never go wrong with Mussels Frites unless the mussels aren’t fresh.
The Pebble Beach
After my rather expensive seafood lunch, I took a small stroll along the beach to see the ocean or the English Channel. It’s curious to me that the strand of land right before the ocean was not sand but pebbles. Small rocks that make up the beach. I have never been to a pebble beach. I guess that’s where they get the phrase. All the beaches I have ever been to have been fine grainy sand with the occasional seaweed tossed aside.
Before I left Brighton, I strolled some of the streets where they sold vintage clothes and used books. It felt like Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, except there is a noticeable beach vibe happening here. I looked at an old copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses, deciding not to buy it, and headed for the train station.