Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Bristol and the South West
Jane: Going back to Bristol was weird for me. I lived there for 5 years in the late nineties, so to go back after 8 years away was strange. It was all really familiar and yet felt quite alien. I managed to find my way around okay, mostly because we were on foot so I had time to remember. Driving was a different matter - many road changes - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
The sun came out for the first time in a week which always makes things look prettier. We actually had a few days of lovely English summer.
We hired a car and pootled down into the South West for a couple of days. Standing on top of a hill looking down over the village of Cross (and its interesting topiary...) and the surrounding countryside reminded of why I loved England. Pretty green fields, rolling hills and old buildings - all very beautiful.
We visited Watchet, the seaside town that allegedly inspired Coleridge to write the 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. We also went to Woolacombe Bay which I thought may have been remote, so we hung out on a pretty sand beach with about 10,000 of our closest friends. There were many hardy souls in the water (mostly wearing steamers...) but we declined to join them as we're not really into hyperthermia that much.
The rest of our time was spent driving along country lanes, walking Exmoor and meeting very nice, helpful people when we locked the keys in the car.
When in Bristol we like to stay with the amazing June at her Pierian Centre. Have a look at her site: http://www.pierian.co.uk/. She has set up a fabulous space that is used by the Bristol community for everything from alternative healing to corporate training. It was wonderful to catch up with her again.