|Banksy - |
Girl with an Alarm Earring
Arriving around lunchtime on Sunday, we caught up with each others' news before catching a bus from Brislington into the city centre. Our destination was the Bristol Floating Harbour, now almost completely rejuvenated, and a circular walk we hadn't done before. The harbour covers an area of about 70 acres and has been in use since at least the thirteenth century although its current layout owes much to nineteenth century alterations including the construction of lock gates and canals. Now primarily used for pleasure craft, reminders of Bristol's naval history can be seen in Brunel's SS Great Britain - apparently the South West's top tourist attraction - which we didn't visit, and the Matthew, which we did board.
The Matthew was built in Bristol to commemorate the 500th anniversary of John Cabot's 1497 sailing to Newfoundland and is a faithful replica of that original ship. It was open for free visits over the Bank Holiday weekend (with a donations box to which we contributed) and it was amazing to think that such a small vessel crossed the Atlantic. This replica also made the same voyage and was welcomed into port at Bonavista in June 1997 by Queen Elizabeth II. We also saw the Matthew under sail on the Monday as she set out on a harbour tour.
Harbour history is also on show much further along at
|Hand Of A River God by|
A lot of our walk was spent simply drinking in the ambience - and a ginger beer at the Cottage Inn - and looking at the wide variety of architecture along the harbour route. There is a vibrant mix of new and older structures and some gorgeous looking residential apartments which must have pretty gorgeous price tags too! From several places we could look over to the painted terraces up on the hills too. The whole route is pretty much flat and about three miles so an hour's walk if you don't get distracted, or a good afternoon's worth for us.
|Looking across the harbour from Baltic Wharf|